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Add to Your Communication Tool Kit

We continue in hot pursuit of communication excellence with this week’s blog. Last time we broke down the three primary modalities we use to give and receive information (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) into three subcomponents, or submodalities of communication. Today I will offer an alternative paradigm in communication – deconstructing the four major personality types, and how to handle them when they’re under stress.

Like every good mechanic, a good communicator comes equipped with more than one tool to do the job. Some of us may find the visual/auditory/kinesthetic model to be fun and easily adaptable, while for others it may be cumbersome as it involves multiple levels of observation. Recognizing the four primary personality types could be a simpler way to determine patterns and select strategies that work with each type. Of course, having more than one model in your communication tool kit is a huge benefit. Let’s take a look at the Dominator, the Expressive, the Scrutinizer, and the Relater…

Dominator – leader/take charge type, task focused, straightforward, efficient, organized, results oriented, decisive, fast paced
Biggest fears: losing control, lack of time, inefficiency, getting sidetracked
Under stress: can be impatient, aggressive, arrogant, despotic
Strategy: you must make them feel like they’re in control, acknowledge their status early in a communication, then hand them control by presenting options for them to decide upon

Expressive – creative, spontaneous, enthusiastic, idea-centric, image-oriented, people lover, need for center of attention, fast paced
Biggest fears: being ignored, loss of face and prestige
Under stress: indignant, melodramatic, temperamental
Strategy: acknowledge how important their role is, complement ideas and let them know you will take their ideas and suggestions into consideration

Scrutinizer – data gatherer, close attention to detail, task centered, process oriented, deliberate decision making, slow paced
Biggest fears: inaccurate information, being wrong
Under stress: complaining, blaming, loss of trust
Strategy: make careful notes of what they say, then ask them very specific Who, What, Where, When, Why, How questions to get results

Relater – relationship priorities, wants to get along, sociable, easy going, values compassion and sensitivity, slow paced
Biggest fears: conflict, disapproval, rejection
Under stress: withdrawn, unproductive, paralyzed with feelings of alienation
Strategy: acknowledge how much you prize your relationship with them, be encouraging and supportive to help them complete tasks

We all have elements of the four major personality types. It can change according to who we’re with or what the situation entails. The key is to be flexible with others by entering their world. Engage them where they are coming from and get the personal or professional results to serve all involved.

Additional flexibility tools can be explored here

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  1. September 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

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