How to Tell Someone They Smell | Effective Communication Skills training

OMIGOD, this is a tough one--how to tell someone they smell or their cologne is KILLING YOU

In this communication skills video, communication skills coach Dan O'Connor reminds us that it is important to focus on the behavior, not the person, and be clear so you don't have to repeat this experience!

  1.  Explain that this is EMBARRASSING for you--and Dan will tell you why you should start with that.
  2. Use the DESC script.  Dan will go into detail and give an example of how to use the DESC script in this situation.  As a reminder, the DESC script stands for:  D--describe the behavior; E--effects of the behavior; S--say what you mean; C--consequences (and they should ALWAYS be positive).

Before you are ready to tell someone they smell, you will need this script and all the interpersonal relations skills you can possibly muster.  You'll need all the mindful communication skills you can muster.  But this can be done and both you and the person whose body odor or cologne is WAY too strong will not only survive the experience, but benefit from it--if you do this kindly and following the script outlined.

Part of effective communication is learning how to be assertive without being threatening or aggressive.  The flip side of that coin is moving from timidity to effectiveness.  You are not doing yourself a favor nor are you doing the person with body odor (or obnoxious allergy-causing cologne) a favor by suffering in silence.  Think about it in reverse.  If you had strong body odor that was bothering people (and was no doubt the cause of a great deal of gossip about you), would you like people to say nothing to you?  Or would you want someone to tell you so that you could do something about it?  Of course you'd want to know--and so would that other person.  And by the way--if that other person has a medical condition causing the odor, he or she needs to see a doctor and find a solution.  So don't be thinking "Well, maybe there's nothing John can do about that problem, so I won't say anything."  There IS something John can do, and he should do it!

Watch this video, and share this video as often as necessary until we can all breathe deeply around our friends and coworkers.  :)


If you would like to bring Dan into your organization for training or a keynote, or if you'd like to check out Dan's free and premium products--books--videos--audios--go to his website.