Obfuscate – render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.
You’ve seen it before. The facts and figures tell the story but the spin doctors tell another. The officer’s radar gun reports one speed but the driver is convinced it was much lower than that and has several good reasons why it cannot be correct. Some might call it a lie. Others might say it’s nothing more than fudging the numbers. What ever you call it in your day-to-day life, it is nothing more than obfuscation.
When the truth is hard to swallow, we can render it obscure by misdirecting the story. When facts are hard to accept, we can change the details to make it a little more unclear. When the question is hard to answer, we can mumble, stutter and stammer, making our response unintelligible.
Let’s be clear: to obfuscate is rarely a good thing. It is a form of manipulating the truth, clouding the facts for their own benefit.
Look for it this week. You’ll see it in things your friends tell you. You’ll find it in your co-workers’ responses. In fact, you might find yourself obfuscating from time to time. When you do, call it out, change your approach, and make your answer crystal clear.