by Linda Ernst
Are you getting the most out of the “red book”, Understanding Yourself and Others, an Introduction to Interaction Styles 2.0, when you use it to help clients clarify their best-fit Interaction Style? Are you using the material in the book to the best advantage?
Here are some suggestions for using the book to help clients clarify their Interaction Style:
Clarifying Your Interaction Style – Things-In-Common
We’ve found that this information often provides the “aha” moments for participants sorting between 2 styles. For many clients, it’s the discussion that accompanies these pages (18-22) that is the most helpful – especially the Communication styles of Directing and Informing. Our experience in organizations and with teams is that the Directing / Informing differences are often the basis of conflict and misunderstandings. This section of the book deserves a good chunk of time for both your individual client and, especially, any work with teams.
The Four Variations of Each Interaction Style
Within the 8 pages that expand on the characteristics on the arrow graphics are the Four Variations of each Interaction Style. We included these in the 2.0 revision for two reasons: so you can use this book to help your clients get to full type and to help those clients who are struggling to find a fit see some of the subtle differences within each Interaction Style. Often this is the place for more “aha” moments.
For those who know Temperament you will recognize that these variations represent the four Temperaments within each Interaction Style – and their placement on the page is in the classic Temperament matrix.
Interaction Style Energy and Decision-Making Style
Recognizing the typical energy of each style is another way to help clients determine their best-fit. This is good content to support your demonstration of “the walks” and helps participants not only recognize themselves but begin to identify Interaction Styles of others.
The energy patterns lead to different decision-making styles – another critical element in understanding one’s self and, possibly, even more critical in understanding conflict with team members and maybe even spouses! Discussion of the need to develop some facility with all four styles and to recognize the need for flexing in different situations has been a huge part of many of our leadership and team workshops.
Next week look for suggestions about helping clients identify Interaction Styles and relate to others…