When I think about communication, I think about 2 preference types. A person who prefers external motivation, and a person who prefers internal motivation.

I have an internally motivated preference. I don’t need others to motivate me in order to thrive. If there’s a problem, there’s no need to pepper it with positivity or other external factors to get me going. In fact, if you do so then I might even be suspicious of the intent.

When I meet others who have the same preference (most of us rarely think about which preference we have) a spark usually happens, where conversation flows easily, we are mutually inspired, and misunderstanding rarely happens.

When I interact with people who’s preference is external motivation it’s easy to feel a little difficulty, as free flowing conversation and mutual inspiration are rarely present. That’s ok, I know I have to adapt to each and every interaction. What I’m pondering is why I’m noticing it more than before? Am I changing, is the world around me changing? The answer of course is both, yet what I’ve realised is I’m surrounded by more people with an opposite communication preference than any time I can remember.

So lately I’m spending a lot of focus working on positive messaging, as well as  understanding the negative impact that comes from not understanding another person’s communication preference.

This is actually a wonderful and hugely challenging situation. I’m learning something, something that may already be obvious to many. Yet until now I can only wonder what the negative impact of not working on this has had on my previous interactions.

Where I thrive on hearing that everything is blowing up and no one believes it can change (as I will believe it can), a large proportion of people around me want to hear the opposite. They want to hear what good came from the blowing up and who supports and believes in them. There’s nothing wrong with either preference, though once you understand yours you can build on it and much stronger relationships.

If I’d have realised my preference years ago, it’s a safe bet I would have had many more positive outcomes, in and out of work.

Does all this sound obvious to you? Do you know your preference?

I don’t need to hear what good came from an explosion, I’m already working on clearing up the mess and understanding what caused it, what would you be doing?

“You have power over your mind―not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” ―Marcus Aurelius

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