Communication Styles

Be Careful…Your Style Is Showing!

by Wally Johnston (c) 2013

The world is full of Apps (Applications) that are used by computers to make life more productive and fun. Every so often my computer tells me there are programs to update. Sometimes I think, “Why bother?” Well if I don’t update I miss out on some of the new advantages of the programs I use. In this tech world it is easy to get left behind without updates. I’ve learned that it pays to update!

Sometimes we can get stuck in old patterns of communicating that need updating. We get into the habit of using old communication tools and styles thinking that they are very effective without realizing they are only sort of effective

In an earlier post we discussed love languages. Just as there are different ways that people want love expressed to them, we communicate in different styles. Our styles are affected by our cultural setting. When we marry someone we are marrying into a different culture, even if they are the same ethnicity. Sometimes we limit certain communication styles to gender but generalizations aren’t always accurate.

There are two major communication styles: internal and external processors:

  • An internal processor gets an idea and then lets his/her mind chew on it. They think of all the possibilities, questions, etc. Then after a period of time say something like, “Hey, let’s get a truck this weekend.
  • The spouse, an external processor, may think they just got hit by a truck! “Where did that come from? This is the first I’ve heard about this!” The external processor gets an idea and from the onset they start asking their partner, “What do you think about getting a truck? Can we afford it? What make and model? What accessories should we get?”

The way to make life better for internal and external processors is for the internal to start talking more on the outside earlier in the game.  The external processor needs to think less on the outside and talk to themselves on the inside first before saying anything.  The idea is not to change the other person’s style, but to train each other to be more accommodating.

Give this a try and you might find out that your communication and relationship will grow!

Next time we’ll talk about some tools that will help us do a better job at communicating.

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