THE SQUEAKY WHEEL ALWAYS GETS THE GREASE?
Are you befuddled, traveling on a one-way talk avenue? Do you know when you’re in a relationship filled to the brim with confusing communication? Of course you do…you feel like you’re going nuts! And you probably have that gut-dropping feeling or head-spinning headache due to confusing talk…or maybe both at once? Whoa. Know this: Negatalkers, of any rank or color, set up orange barrels to direct you down dead-end talk avenues, just to rankle you. Energy impact: Empathizers will feel down and blue, while Instigators will feel impatient and frustrated. Let me be clear here: Most times no one’s to blame, since not understanding the talk preferences of your opposite communicator type is the origin of the miscommunication. Thus, mistakes are easy to make!
DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
“Different strokes for different folks” orients you to become a more effective communicator using the Talk to Me© system. Does one size shoe fit all? Of course not. That’s also true of our communication styles. Empathizer-type (E-type) communicators, and Instigator-type (I-type) communicators, walk in two very different styles and colors of shoes. When you don’t know communication preferences and communicator differences, you can slam into a brick wall, and you will see spinning stars circling all around your head. Each communicator style has its advantages and its disadvantages:
1. THE EMPATHIZER TALK STYLE: Results and comprehending empathy-filled solutions are strengths of Empathizers.
2. THE INSTIGATOR TALK STYLE: Energy and managing problem-solving steps are strengths of Instigators.
3. COMBINING E- AND I- STYLES: As a cooperative team, E-type and I-type drivers can move mountains to better locations while still improving the environment.
Your energy is boosted and your communication moves improve when you experience the benefits of both types’ strengths while avoiding their Achilles’ heels.
THE LIGHT BULB CAME ON!
The main benefit of the Talk To Me© system’s “light bulb came on” effect was recently touted by an I-type manager this way: “I can put up a barrier to block out negatives. I find it easier to talk to someone who isn’t constantly complaining. I had a revelation of sorts…it just dawned on me. After you implement the strategies in Talk To Me©…a light bulb comes on. In the past, I would have said: ‘I can’t take it anymore, just quit complaining. I’ve got to move on.’ Now I take time to listen and come back with positives. It works better for everyone.”
HOW E-TYPES FEEL AND HOW I-TYPES THINK ABOUT NOT LISTENING TO ONE ANOTHER
Empathizers prefer open, two-way talks which include everyone. Thus, E-types can be perceived as being wishy-washy. On the other hand, Instigators prefer narrow, one-way talks to get the job done. Thus, I-types can be perceived as being too pushy. Neither style is better or worse, although each style works better in certain situations. Each type can blame the personality of the difficult person when, in fact, the confusion at this four-way stop is due to communicator style.
THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE?
E-types complain that I-types don’t listen well. I-types complain that E-types don’t drive past their moods fast enough. Can you better understand the opposing view of your talk type? Of course you can…it’s a piece of cake. Contrived examples at home and work of confusing one-way talking that tick off Empathizer-type and Instigator-type communicators alike:
E-Type: You don’t listen to a word I say.
I-Type: I’m truly sorry for any pain I’ve caused you.
E-Type: You haven’t shown me any changes.
I-Type: Why isn’t this change thing a fifty-fifty deal?
E-Type: Since we can’t express opinions without it becoming an argument, I back off.
I-Type: I’m not arguing, but I am expressing what I believe in.
E-Type: You’re too worried about what others think.
I-Type: If you’re done complaining, tell me right now how to make things better. Are you done?
E-Type: Your actions speak louder than words.
I-Type: I don’t mean anything personal by what I said.
E-Type: You don’t help us out around here.
I-Type: It’s not that I’m too lazy to do what you want me to do, but why should I have to follow your rules?
E-Type: You’re hurtful.
I-Type: Sometimes, I do say things out of anger which I don’t mean.
E-Type: I take things very personally.
I-Type: We don’t accomplish anything by talking.
E-Type: You make me look like the bad guy and that it’s all my fault.
I-Type: We’re not accomplishing a damn thing here by being negative.
E-Type: Every time I speak up or confront you, all I get are a bunch of excuses.
I-Type: Sometimes you hurt the people closest to you. We can get past this.
E-Type: It’s all about you. You don’t care.
I-Type: You act like it’s all about me. But if I feel you’re not getting the job done, I’m going to tell you how I feel about it.
E-Type: If it’s not your way, it’s the highway!
I-Type: There you go again, driving your point home by going to extremes and exaggerating everything.
BEATING A DEAD HORSE
Do you sometimes feel like you’re beating a dead horse as you try to clear up confusing communications? That’s why Empathizers fall silent and stop giving you their best ideas! Do you realize that confusing communications stem from differing talk viewpoints…that don’t have to collide or crash and burn? Ironically, confusing communication makes you feel small, and makes the person you’re talking with seem big.
MAKING YOUR TALK PARTNER LOOK LIKE THE BAD GUY OR GAL
“Who’s to blame for this failure to communicate?!” said a communications coaching client. For sure, miscommunication creates more talk torture and troubling times. Are you a confusing communicator? You are if you’ve heard yourself say, “I’m not trying to turn it back on you, or make you look like the bad guy. Not once have I said that I’m not at fault. You’re saying that I’m not listening to what you say, BUT I’m just not agreeing with you. I have my own opinions and my own views, and because it’s not the way you believe, you say that it should be, and that we’re beating a dead horse. There you go again, just being SO negative!” Finding fault doesn’t fix problems, but that rarely stops us from assigning it.
WHAT IF WHATEVER YOU SAY FALLS ON DEAF EARS?
Gobbledygook isn’t good communication, no matter what your talk type, my fellow talk travelers. When you feel like you’re beating a dead horse…perhaps you are!
ABOUT CORPORATE TRAINER, KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND COMMUNICATIONS PSYCHOLOGIST DENNIS E. O’GRADY, PSY.D.
Dr. Dennis O’Grady is the “Talk Doc” and president of the Dayton Psychological Association, a relationship communications expert, corporate trainer, inspirational keynote speaker, and experienced couples and family counselor. For over 30 years, Dr. O’Grady has focused on improving effective communication among everyone, including in-love couples, at-work teams, corporate leaders, and their families. Dennis is the developer of the innovative results-driven Talk to Me© effective leadership and teamwork communication system. His book on positive and effective interpersonal communication, Talk to Me: Communication Moves To Get Along with Anyone, is available at drogrady.com or at Amazon.