But we’ve all also experienced a complete disconnect with one or more people over words that seem out of context, harsh, or “unnecessary.” The fascinating thing to me is that the value and impact of a word changes based on our view of the world, not just on our understanding of the word itself.
For example, I know what the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ actually mean – in fact, I doubt there’s much argument out there over the meanings of these two words. But I rarely use either of them and neither do most other people with the Vision Perceptual Style.
Why? Because to us, those words feel limiting, and people of the Vision style experience the world as a series of endless possibilities. In fact, Vision folks tend to find comments like “you never….” or “you always……” insulting or challenging when applied to them. That’s because they know that they don’t “never” or “always” anything – they respond to life as it unfolds before them, improvising as necessary to take advantage of opportunities.
But for people with the Methods Perceptual Style, “always” and “never” are simple statements of fact based on what is known from an individual’s past behavior – no future application is considered or implied. So from a Methods perspective, Vision people really overreact to a simple fact!
There are a million other examples of differences between Perceptual Styles when it comes to the ways we use language. Those differences have a profound impact on many aspects of our daily lives – such as what marketing appeals to us and what kind turns us away, and which leaders motivate us and which leave us shaking our heads- not to mention our relationships. As a coach with 30+ years of experience, let me assure you that a key source of conflict in our personal and work relationships is the disconnections that result from the words we use (in guidelines or memos, for example, or at home, during conflicts and arguments) and what they mean to all parties involved.
So the next time you get a reaction from someone over something you’ve said that surprises you, stop to ask what it might mean to them before you react. You’ll be amazed at the differences you’ll uncover and the conflicts you’ll avoid! When you change your words you really can you change your world.
Lynda-Ross Vega: A partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd., Lynda-Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and coaches build dynamite teams and systems that WORK. She is co-creator of Perceptual Style Theory, a revolutionary psychological assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their deepest potentials for success. For free information on how to succeed as an entrepreneur or coach, create a thriving business and build your bottom line doing more of what you love, visit www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.