“I just treat everyone the same.” I hear this
all the time, usually from someone participating in one our personality type workshops. It’s
always offered proudly as a magnanimous egalitarian approach to communicating with others. But
quite frankly, it’s the nonthinking approach, because we’re not all the same. Fact is, we
all process information differently. Without getting deep into personality psychology,
there’s at least four core personality types. Each one has different preferences, points
of view, and uses different processing techniques. With four basic types in the office, if you’re
speaking the same way to all of them, you’re missing about 75% of the shot you take.
Treating everyone the same is great for top level criteria like race, gender or religion,
or large concepts like honesty and fairness. When it comes to getting your ideas across
to others, we’re going to have to a little work and apply some communication skill.
Director types like their information in bullet points. Relater types like a lot of story.
Thinkers are all about the analysis, and Socializers, like myself, just want to have fun. Well,
I wish it were that easy, but get my drift. In terms of worker-to-worker communication,
treating everyone the same is an idea worth shedding.