How do you cope with a Dominant, Powerful and Direct Communicator?

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How do you feel when you come face to face with someone who is after results, they don’t mess around, they are straightforward and task focused.  Those strong almost “Bossy” people who like to make quick decisions, are big picture thinkers and think their way is the ONLY way.

These people can come across as aggressive, competitive and harsh.  If you are not wired the same way you can really struggle.  If you are just as strong then look out!  We may have world war III on our hands!

What if you are more relaxed, quiet, avoid conflict and really focused on having harmonious relationships?  This is the Patient and Steady style and chances are if you are required to be around one of these strong styles all you may feel is CONFLICT CONFLICT CONFLICT!!

The sad truth is that the strong or Powerful and Direct style really has no idea how they come across to the more gentle styles like the Patient and Steady style.  They are perceived as pushy, direct, fast and loud  in order to get their result.  They honestly have no idea how they come across to the world.

When I was a young manager I had a really difficult experience.  I was in the bathroom minding my own business when a group of my staff came in and literally started berating me in the office loo.  Of course, they did not know I was in there.   I listened to them say things like “She always has to be right!”,  “It’s her way or the highway”, “why is she so pushy?”.  As I listened to this barrage, my heart sank.  This was not my intention at all!  I thought I was caring, supportive and encouraging.  Obviously my staff did not feel the same way.

I knew I had a decision to make, I could let this make me bitter or I could learn from it.  So, I took a deep breath and walked out to confront my accusers.  You should have seen their faces!  Poor things, they nearly died!  The temptation to make them sweat was strong, I won’t deny it!  However, I thanked them for the feedback and promised that things would change.  This event was actually the driver for me learning about different communication styles.  I was so confused about how differently I was being perceived.  On the inside I felt completely different to how many people saw me.

What I learned was that I was a very strong Dominant or Powerful and Direct style (like 98 out of 100).  What this meant was that I can across as really direct, blunt, pushy, even aggressive at times.  Particularly to the more gentle styles such as the Patient and Steady style.  Funnily enough I was surrounded by them at work and at home!

What I needed to do was learn about myself and how I can be perceived (both good and bad) as well as how to dial down some of my communication techniques so that I didn’t create conflict.  I don’t want to create conflict I wanted the results which meant working well with all types of people.  I still struggle at times, there are some scarred Patient and Steady types walking this earth I am sure after an interaction with me!  This is an ongoing  learning process that is exponentially diverse.  However, continuing to develop your communication skills to positively affect all of your relationships is really worth it.

As a strong Powerful and Direct Communicator  I did not want to offend people, I don’t want to put pressure on them or create tension and conflict.  I honestly did not understand how I was being perceived.  When I made the effort to change how I interacted with people, by choosing different words, slowing down, being patient and accepting others for their unique strengths and skills, my world changed for the better.

Next time the Strong Powerful and Direct is being bossy, pushy, aggressive, please remember they most likely don’t mean it, they are just striving for the result they so desperately need.  Don’t take it personally, take a breath and focus on their good points.  I would also encourage you to let them know how you feel, how they come across to you, I bet they have no idea.

If you would like to know more about your communication style and how to work more effectively with others check out our courses page.  The next workshop “How to handle difficult conversations and get a good result” is being held in Sydney in November 2014 and will the the last one for the year.  Here you will learn how to handle difficult conversations, difficult people, how to structure a difficult conversation and how to be assertive.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

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