Hello everybody. I’m Victoria Rennoldson, Communication and Culture Coach, and welcome to Wednesday Words with me. You can choose to watch this by clicking ‘play’ on the video above, which also has subtitles.
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Welcome to today’s Wednesday Words, and this is the first one of February, it’s 2nd February today, and it is Groundhog Day. I don’t know if you remember, but there was a famous film about this, back in the 1990s with Bill Murray, and it was about a man who was destined to repeat the same day over and over again.
In fact we use that phrase ‘Groundhog Day’ to suggest when we’re repeating the same kinds of tasks or behaviours, and in fact, this is highly relevant for today’s topic, because I work with my clients in a way which helps them explore not only communication confidence, but also understand their mindset and how they’re communicating and interacting with others.
One of the ways that I do this, is by helping them with a tool that I use, which is the MiND Neurometric profiling tool, which gives you an insight into how the brain works in general and how YOUR specific brain is working. It shows us the kind of preferences you have for thinking and how that’s influencing your communication interactions.
Now, that’s really valuable, because we all have our preferences, our ways of doing things, and this is a positive thing right? Because, if we do things in the same way, we create shortcuts, and this makes our routine more efficient and we can get things done quicker. So that’s definitely a positive, but there’s also a downside sometimes, which is if we keep doing things the same way, we don’t challenge them, we just keep going doing the same pattern, and that can turn into a negative pattern sometimes, without us even realising it. And if we don’t take that time to step back and challenge it, then in fact, it becomes ingrained, so we sometimes need some help to step back and and realise that that pattern isn’t helping us anymore.
So let me tell you a bit more about this neurometric profiling tool and how this might help you today break out of the Groundhog Day feeling. The way this profile works is it makes the assumption that we all can tap into all parts of our brain. That we have the ability to flex our thinking to think in different ways. There are four key types of thinking preferences, but we generally have one or two preferences usually, which are our most common ways, and they are the patterns, the automatic ways that we think about the world. It’s also the automatic way that we interact with other people – it’s how we communicate.
Now, that’s great if it works for you, but of course, if we are working with people who are very different to us in the way that they are thinking, in the way that they are communicating, and interacting with us, that can lead to some problems – frustrations – even conflict sometimes, if we have two quite different ways of looking at the world. So, it’s really important that we do understand this, so that we can have better interactions, more productive interactions, that means that we can really deliver our results.
Let me give you an example of this:
There is one particular profile, which is called the Reasoning profile. Now, people who have this preference are very rational, logical, they like to talk about facts and are quite objective. They like to step back and examine the situation.
The opposite profile is a profile called Feelings, and not surprisingly the person who has a preference for this is very focused on ‘How do I feel?’, ‘How do others feel?’, building empathy, and really prioritising the team’s spirit and harmony.
You can see that, with those two examples, that there might be a reason why these two sometimes end up in a conflict in their communication style, because they’re approaching the thinking in very different ways and they’re prioritising different things, when it comes to projects.
So, what is important is that if you have somebody who has a very strong Reasoning preference that they are able to have the flexibility, the agility, within their communication, to think about it from the other person’s perspective, from the Feelings‘ preference perspective, and also think about and plan even, their communication approach, and the words they’re using, the types of questions they’re asking, they know will build a better relationship with the other person.
It’s also the same the other way around. For the Feelings preference, they may need to adapt their own communication style and approach, because their communication style is perhaps not the way that the Reasoning preference prioritises communication.
If I give you a different example, there is a profile which is called Spontaneous, that is really focused on ideas, creativity and they like to think about the future and ‘what if’, to think about the big picture, and come up with something really different.
The opposite profile to that person is Specific. People with this preference love the detail and the organisation, the plan and the process, they want to follow it through all the way to the end. And so you can see with these two profiles, how different they are in the way that they’re thinking about things, how they approach life, and the ways they’re talking about what’s important to them.
The person with the Spontaneous profile will be definitely talking about the ‘why’ questions and the Specific profile will be talking about the ‘how’ – ‘How does this work?’, ‘How is it going to happen?’, so that’s really important to know, because again we find two very different ways of thinking, two very different ways of communicating. But we all have that ability to have the communication agility, to flex how we’re connecting with others, the language we’re using, the types of questions we’re asking, to see it from their perspective, to help them the process move along.
These are two examples, and I do hope that’s helpful for you to understand how we can look at things from others’ perspectives, and break the pattern of Groundhog Day, so that we can be more successful in our interactions in international teams or when working across borders with different languages and cultures.
I hope it gives you that insight that we need to be careful as well sometimes, to realise our own approach in communication, our own thinking preferences, and to be mindful of others. That sometimes we may need to break those automatic patterns that we’re doing without realising.