We discussed where people get their energy by looking at the differences between extroverts and introverts in the last blog. Today we will look at people’s style of communication, the way they best exchange information, by looking at the difference between those who have a preference for sensing and those who are more intuitive.
Sensors tend to communicate more concretely while intuitors tend to communicate more abstractly. In the book “Please Understand Me II” David Keirsey explains the difference this way, “Abstract words refer to things that cannot be observed but only imagined, while concrete words refer to things that can be observed and therefore need not be imagined” (p. 120).
If your tendency is toward sensing, you communicate through what you can see, touch, smell, hear, and taste. You communicate what you can observe. You tend to start with the facts first, then move toward the big picture.
Sensors like to recall events as snapshots of what literally happened. They put experience first and put less trust in words and symbols. Sometimes they will focus so much on the facts of the present or past that they miss new possibilities.
If your tendency is toward intuition, you communicate through what can be imagined. You see beyond just the facts. You tend to start with the big picture first, then move toward the details and facts.
Intuitives like to recall events by what they read “between the lines” at the time. They place great trust in insights, symbols, and metaphors and less in what is literally experienced. Sometimes they focus so much on new possibilities that they miss the practicalities of making that new possibility into reality.
Everyone has some of both sensing and intuition. However, we all have one that is more dominate than the other. This is your preference for how you best and most naturally communicate.
Neither style is good or bad. We need both. When we are aware of what each person’s communication style is, we can better work towards better marriages, healthier churches, and more productive businesses.
After reading the descriptions of the two different communications styles which one do you feel you are? What about your spouse? Kids? Co-workers? Supervisor? Understanding you’re your communication style and the style of those you interact with on a regular basis can help you be more effective in your communication.
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Tommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.
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