There are times when my wife and I just do not seem to connect when it comes to communication.
I really want to hear her, and she really wants to be heard. (See how I did that?) But we don’t always communicate effectively with each other.
The problems with our communication isn’t for a lack of desire to connect. The problem exists because our personality types are so much different.
Think of Personality Types as the Connectors on a Smartphone.
Each device uses a different connector. If the connectors do not match, then you will not be able to “plug-in.” Failure to “plug-in” to the personality type of the person you are speaking with is what is causing the communication problems.
The Personality Types also controls the Download and Upload of Information. You download information through your personality filter, and upload it through your personality filter as well. The download is how you see and hear the world around you. The upload is how you interact with the world around you.
The lack of communication can create some huge challenges.
- Damaged Relationships
- Decreased Productivity
- Decreased Profit Margins of Companies
- Increased Stress Levels when Working around other Personality Types
To avoid these negative consequences, you have to be intentional about increasing your communication.
Increasing Communication Begins with Understanding Personality Types
There are 4 major personality types that we each plug into.
- The Driver. The Driver Personality Type will often be described as the “hard-charging leader.” He likes to be communicated to in short bursts of information. For the Driver, he is primarily concerned with how information helps him make a decision, fast.
- The Influencer. The Influencer Personality Type is described as the “expressive artist,” or the “persuasive salesmen.” He loves conversation, and is a great talker. For the influencer, he is concerned with how information helps him persuade someone.
- The Steady. The Steady Personality Type is described as the “loyal friend.” The steady personality type makes up the majority of the world. She likes to communicate in a way that makes her feel comfortable. Not too fast, and not too much pressure. The primary point of communication for a steady personality is to strengthen a relationship.
- The Compliant. The Compliant Personality Type is described as the “analytical number cruncher.” She loves to take time to really weigh out every option. The primary point of communication for a compliant personality is to gather information. This information will be used to make a decision, eventually. Don’t rush this person to a fast decision.
Learn to Adapt to Personality Types to Increase Communication
When you understand your personality, and the personality of the person you are communicating with, then you can begin to adapt to increase communication. Let’s examine my personality type, and that of Shannon’s. You will see some very stark differences in our communication connectors.
In order for Shannon and I to Increase our Communication, we have to be very intentional about
adapting our communication styles. This means that I have to force myself to not download information too quickly. In other words, I have to listen more. It also means that I have to explain in more detail than I necessarily like to do. However, this is critical for Shannon to connect well with me. The same is true in reverse for Shannon. She has to recognize when the driver in me is turned to maximum. During those times, she has to communicate in sound bites if she expects me to connect well with her.
Shannon and I both connect well in the Influencer Personality Type. This works so well for us on so many levels. We love having fun together. Laughing is a huge part of our marriage. We also love family vacations, playing with our daughter, worshipping at church, and we cry at the same movies. (Real men do cry.) So for us, connecting our communication link on the Influencer side of our personality is a natural thing. Check out the graph below.
It is very easy to see that the Influencer is a natural connection for us. This is a fall back for us. It is a place where we can go if we are struggling to connect in some way. It is also a danger zone. Since we are both influencers, if we are not careful we can have some very expressive disagreements.
Once we learned this about ourselves, having a meaningful conversation with each other became so much easier!
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