Preferences and Communication
The key is to try to adapt your communication style to the natural
"language" of others.
1. When talking to extraverts:
ask open-ended questions that will allow them to think out loud;
ask, "Is this your final answer?” to bring their
processing to some closure.
2. When talking to introverts:
pre-alert them with an agenda so they can begin internally processing
their thoughts prior to a discussion; when asking them a question,
count to ten to give them time to process their thoughts and
mentally rehearse their response.
3. When talking to sensors:
FIRST, briefly tell them what the conversation is about ("About
GroupLink . . . ."; "About your e-mail . . .");
give the facts, be concise, have specific, verifiable data to
back up your ideas or plans for action.
4. When talking to intutives:
FIRST, put your specific data into a larger perspective or context;
give the background of the discussion; give larger implications
- how knowledge of the facts will affect something.
5. When talking to thinkers:
state objective reasons, list causes and effects (pros and cons,
plusses and minuses, costs and benefits, etc.).
6. When talking to feelers:
state the problem or solution in terms of its impact on others;
list the things people care about.
7. When talking to judgers:
clarify what the goals of the discussion are and when they should
be reached; if the discussion involves multiple alternatives,
list them first; try not to let them reach closure too quickly;
they will tend to affirm comments that move the discussion towards
the goal or bring it to closure.
8. When talking to perceivers:
tell them where your information is from; their thoughts are
rarely finished; try not to let them take the discussion away
from the goals or agenda; they will tend to affirm new information
whether or not it relates to the point of the discussion.