When Opposite Communicators interact

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When opposite Communicators interact it can get ugly.  There can be misunderstanding, tension and ultimately conflict.  Today we will look at the Direct and Steady Communicators interacting.

We have discussed the Powerful and Direct Communicator many times however, here is a quick summary for you. The direct styles are after results, they don’t mess around, they are straightforward, task focused and outgoing. They like to make quick decisions, are big picture thinkers and think their way is the ONLY way.  They can come across as aggressive, competitive, sometimes bossy and harsh. However, they get loads done, are goal focused and won’t give in.

The Patient and Steady Communicator is one that is patient, quiet and does not show emotion.  They are people focused and reserved.  These guys are all about relationship and everyone getting along.  They crave harmony and really don’t like confrontation or change.  If you know someone with this style they are the people you go to when you near a good listener and a cup of tea.  They don’t make a fuss are fiercely loyal and have a quiet stubbornness about them.

This style does not care so much for action, results and competition – they are the the mortar between the bricks, holding everyone together. As you can imagine, if you work with this style and don’t understand it, you could be having some frustrations.  These guys are very good at chugging along consistently, at a slow and steady pace.  They may procrastinate because change is scary and they really find saying ‘No’ a challenge.

So what can happen when these two styles come together?  Firstly, they are polar opposites.  They have very little in common, the Powerful and Direct style is all about results and the Patient and Steady style is all about relationships. The “Powerful and Direct” style can be perceived by the “Patient and Steady” style as cold and uncaring.  Patient and Steady Communicators can find the Powerful and Direct Communicator far to confrontational and aggressive initially.  However, because these styles are so opposite you often find that they marry each other.  Amazing hey?  The “Patient and Steady” Style loves the boldness and strength of the “Powerful and Direct” whilst the “Powerful and Direct” communicator loves the relaxed and serene nature of the “Patient and Steady”.

In the workplace, the “Patient and Steady” style can be perceived by the “Powerful and Direct” style as too slow and lacking courage to speak up.  The “Powerful and Direct” is impatient and has no trouble telling anyone what they thin,.  The “Patient and Steady” does not like to rock the boat and can find the ‘D” highly confrontational even bully like.

Can you imagine these two working on a project together? The “Powerful and Direct” can be all about it’s their way or the highway while the “Patient and Steady” has great ideas too, they just are unlikely to speak up in front of the bossy “Powerful and Direct”.  The “Patient and Steady” will agree on the surface, feeling unable to speak up and afterward will do what they were going to do anyway,  This drives the “Powerful and Direct” style bonkers as they don’t understand why the “Patient and Steady” just did not speak up.  After all, they would!

The “Powerful and Direct” would love the patience, go wight he flow nature of the “Patient and Steady” has toward others, rather than potentially offending and scaring people like a strong “Powerful and Direct” can. These two styles can work so well together if they are aware of how they can potentially cause tension and how to bring out the best in others.

For example, the Strong “Powerful and Direct” can be all about results but an aware “Powerful and Direct” will realise that getting results through people is smart. The Strong “Patient and Steady” may be more focused on people and relationships however at some point will need to produce a result and speak up.   This may require standing up for themselves and saying what they think at a risk of offending someone.  The two can work together to get a great result with a motivated and consistent team work.

It all comes down to realising we are all different and that we all have something to offer, something valuable. So next time that Strong “Powerful and Direct” communicator is telling you what to do and is not open to suggestions; a good starting point may be to understand they are all about the result and they don’t realise how offensive their direct style can be.

Next time the Strong “Patient and Steady” is avoiding a difficult conversation or saying “Yes” again when they know they need to say “No,” be patient with them.  Encourage them, their fear of confrontation is mind numbing for them.  They would rather say “Yes” at their own costs than risk offending someone.

If you would like to understand your own Communication style and that of those you work with, check out our workshops and resources at www.teamology.com.au.  Understudying your own communication style and how to understand others is such a rewarding and worthwhile investment of your time.

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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