He walks into the room full of energy. He bounces along, coffee in hand, with a big smile, “Good Morning, how are you doing?” and “What did you do over the weekend?” A few colleagues respond with the same good cheer and stories of weekend adventures and the energy builds in the room. Yet, there is often someone who does not respond with a “Good Morning” and rarely talks about the weekend. This person may work right through this “chatter”. Positive has just met deliberative and the communication chess game has begun.
Positive Person Chess Game Options to the Deliberative Person:
- Louder, “Good Morning” and “How was your weekend?”
- Compliment, “You look great today. How are you doing?”
- Frustrated and grumble to self, “why does he/she not say good morning”
- Ask self: ”why does he/she dislike me so much?”
- Judge the deliberative person and talk to a positive colleague. “Another grumpy mood, even when I tried to be friendly and ask about the weekend. Couldn’t he/she just say good morning?”
- Checkmate…” you need to be more of a team player.”
Deliberative Person Chess Game Options to the Positivity Person:
- Stay focused on work in order to be thoughtful about upcoming decisions.
- Look up and head nod.
- Wear a head set so can stay focus on analyzing pros and cons.
- Grumble to self, “why does he/she always have to be so perky and want to engage in small talk?”
- Ask self, “ I don’t even know him/her, why would I share what I do on my weekend?”
- Judge the positive person, “why does she/he not just get to work?”
- Checkmate…” you need to keep your personal conversations outside the office and stop wasting time”
How do we change the game?
To begin with we recognize that each quality is a strength. Positive people bring energy to a team. They help people to see what is possible and build enthusiasm about the future. They make people feel welcome in new situations. They build momentum. Contrasting, deliberatives help frame potential challenges and risks in order to take great care in decision making. Deliberative people move more cautiously until all the facts are in order. Deliberatives ask discerning questions and organize multiple details. They can be slow to build trusting relationships but incredibly loyal once trust has been built.
People with these two strengths often misunderstand each other. A few strategies that may help to shift away from judging, frustration, and trying to win the other person over, could include:
- Recognize the differences and appreciate them as strengths.
- Seek common ground. Positive person can ask the deliberative person questions. “I’ve been looking at this potential project and it seems like all the indicators are positive. I’m wondering what you think are some of the risks or down sides of going forward? I often overlook those.”
- Be Curious. Deliberative person may ask a positive person, “I’m having a hard time seeing the benefits of this organizational change. Can you help me see some of the advantages?”
- Pause. Before you find yourself judging, take a deep breath and ask yourself “what is most important right now?” Proceed with that intention as you communicate across the differences.
Are you more a positivity or deliberative person?
What strategies do you have for working with people who are different from you?