Deflection by Rant
Going on a rant is one way to keep control of the discussion. A rant is defined as to speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way. Think of the filibuster technique used in Congress. It’s taking control of the floor in a way that obstructs progress for a long period of time.
Sometimes a rant may be necessary to buy you more time in the negotiation. If the other side is perhaps unwilling to take a break and wants to keep the meeting going until the situation is resolved, then you might use a rant to actually force a break. The other side may concede to a break to stop the rant.
Another type of rant is when you have a limited amount of time and going on a rant obstructs the other side from inserting any points or information into the discussion. This could work to delay the decision and buy you more time or it might cause the other side to give in to some of your points.
You may simply just want to be heard and using the rant technique is the only way to get someone’s attention. I remember one time I was patiently waiting at the front of a line in a store. One person came from another side and cut in front of me. When it happened a second time I went on a short rant and asked “Isn’t this where the line starts?” “Am I in the right place? Shouldn’t I be next? I’ve had 2 people just walk up from another place and cut in front of the line.” After that, I was the next person to get served. Sometimes you have to own your power and go on a rant to get a resolution.
Rants use a lot of passion, emotion and energy. If you plan to go on a rant or perhaps something comes up where a rant is necessary to get your point across, make sure you are aware of the energy a rant requires. If you don’t exude a lot of passion and emotion at the beginning, people won’t take you seriously, let alone listen to anything you have to say.
Rant’s are sometimes necessary but it’s best not to be known for your rants. When you think about Mel Gibson the celebrity, do you think about the great movies he’s acted in and directed? Or do you think about the recorded rants with his girlfriend that went viral. Use rant’s wisely and sparingly. You don’t want to be remembered as the person who rants.
See you next week!
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, MSgt USAF Retired