Friday, February 7, 2014

Are You an Explainer or a Venter? The Difference Matters!

Is your communication style that of an explainer or a venter?

An explainer believes in the power of logic and rational (often detailed) explanations.

A venter believes in the power of emotional truth and expression (often loudly).

Both are perfectly legitimate communication styles, but often at cross-purposes.

         “Why do people who consider themselves good communicators often fail to actually hear each other? Often itʼs due to a mismatch of styles: To someone who prefers to vent, someone who prefers to explain seems patronizing; explainers experience venters as volatile.

This is why so many of us see our conversational counterparts as lecturing, belaboring, talking down to us, or even shaming us (if we are venters and they are explainers) or as invasive, out of control, and overly emotional (if weʼre an explainer and theyʼre a venter).

What to do?

Become aware of your primary communication style, and suss out your Bad Boss’s (or co-worker’s or colleague’s) primary style.

Then--whether you are an explainer or a venter--exercise tolerance. Allow a venter to get whatever off their chest, and let it flow right off you like water off a duck’s back. Allow an explainer to go through whatever lengthy exposition they deem necessary.

In both cases, listen respectfully! Reflect back what you heard (checking in), and proceed from there.

Simply understanding each other’s communication preferences can go a long way towards making a Bad Boss situation, for example, a merely annoying Boss situation.

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