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A little adaptation can go a long way

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

One thing I learned recently is that we tend to be more complimentary towards or agreeable with communication styles that are like our own communication style. During a recent exercise that incorporated the input of others, I was classified as having a “facilitator,” according to C.G. Jung’s theory of personality types – which I agree with. In knowing my own communication style, it explains so much about the people that I enjoy working with versus the people that I have difficulty working with at times. According to this theory, no communication style is better or worse than the others; they are only different. However, it is useful to know your communication style preference and the communication style preference of others to up your chances of building effective business relationships. You can adapt your own style to meet the needs of others without sacrificing your own communication needs.


This concept has me thinking back to a presentation that I attended awhile back about dealing with difficult people. One of the learnings I had during this presentation was that the element of surprise can be a useful tool to get to a preferred outcome. No – not a surprise like scare the living daylights out of someone – but a surprise like acting in a way that the other person, the difficult person, does not expect. That will throw them off their game and their pre-determined reaction to what they thought you were going to do and say and can potentially change the outcome of the situation. In “surprising” the difficult person, you are adapting your own communication style, and it might work to get your desired outcome.

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