Communication and Your Perceptual Style
Communication is a fundamental part of being human. It is how we connect with each other.
We all want to be understood. So, we search for the right words and the right tone to convey our message. What we often fail to recognize is that each one of us has a built-in communication filter and because of that filter, what we mean isn’t always what others hear and vice versa.
At the core of your communication filter is your Perceptual Style™. How you see the world and make it meaningful to you has everything thing to do with how you express yourself and how you listen.
The key to effective communication is twofold - understanding your natural communication skills and understanding how your skills differ from people with other Perceptual Styles. Communication is, after all, a two-way street.
Disconnects in communication happen to all of us.
Have you ever gone to a movie with someone and realized afterwards that each of you walked away with a totally different meaning from the plot? (Makes you wonder if they slept through the good parts, doesn’t it?)
Ever given instructions to someone that you thought were perfectly clear and then they did something that was only “kinda like” what you said?
Ever been told to follow a foolproof method and ended up frustrated and feeling like a fool?
These types of communication disconnects happen to everyone. It’s not because you’re not smart enough or because you aren’t listening or trying hard enough. It comes down to words we use.
Words are a code we put on our thoughts and ideas to communicate our intention and meaning to others.
The code you use on a daily basis to communicate is highly dependent on how you perceive the world
– your Perceptual Style.
Let’s look at an example – story telling. We all like a good story. But how we define a “good story” and how we tell stories differs among Perceptual Styles. In fact, how we tell stories defines what we expect to hear when we listen to them:
Activity people tell stories because they want to share an experience.
Adjustments people tell stories to share information they know other people need.
Flow people tell stories to create a feeling of belonging, a common bond.
Goals people tells stories to give directions and moralize with “shoulds” and “oughts”.
Methods people tell stories to explain the “how” – how it happened and how it was solved.
Vision people tell stories to impact and influence others.
It’s pretty easy to see how different people can get different meanings from the same story or conversation! Then, when you consider that most words have more than one meaning (just check the dictionary), it’s a miracle we ever make ourselves understood!
Perceptual Style is the key to effective communication!
You have a natural and comfortable style of communication because of your Perceptual Style. And so does everyone else.
The more you know about your Perceptual Style, the more you can use your natural strengths to ensure you are understood and that you understand others in return.
People truly do perceive the world differently, and this differing perception leads to different conclusions about what is important, how things should be done, and what is the “truth” of any situation.
Perceptual Style Theory™, created by Gary M. Jordan, PhD, and Lynda-Ross Vega, defines six unique Perceptual Styles.
Each Perceptual Style represents a grouping of fundamental aspects of being human that results in a distinctive experience and characteristic behaviors.
Have you met all of our Perceptual Style representatives?
The people above represent each Perceptual Style—Tina is Activity, Pam is Adjustments, Matt is Flow, Anne is Goals, Jack is Methods, and Dan is Vision. Who did you identify with most?
Not Sure? Would you like to get a taste of what your Perceptual Style and a few of your strengths may be?
We’ve created an introductory sample assessment just for YOU!
The more you know about your Perceptual Style, the more you can tap into your natural strengths and potential. That’s because there’s an extensive set of skills and behaviors that naturally align with your Perceptual Style.
Awareness of the other five Perceptual Styles and how they differ from you provides incredible insights about your communications with family and friends.
Let's look at a few of the communication strengths of each Perceptual Style:
You are an engaging communicator. You charm with an anecdotal and personal style that draws others in.
You are sensitive to the reactions and responses of others and rapidly adjust your speech, posture, and mannerisms to make them feel comfortable.
You communicate with stories to build a sense of shared experience, history, and communality.
Your writing style, like your speech, is impressionistic, personal, and persuasive.
You are a careful and competent communicator who effectively uses nuance, refinement, and precision in language.
You provide minimal immediate response or feedback when listening but grasp both the literal and symbolic meaning of others’ communication.
You speak deliberately and thoughtfully and communicate a richly textured appreciation of your subject matter.
Your writing is well-researched, content-rich, complex, and lengthy.
You are a careful communicator, ensuring you’ve thought about what you want to say before you say it.
You respond thoughtfully after you have had time to reflect on the deeper meanings implied by the content of what you have heard.
You often use metaphors and symbolic language to convey relationally complex and challenging subjects.
Your writing is contextual, personal, and experientially detailed.
You are a strong and confident communicator. You speak with clarity and strength of opinion.
You will frequently interrupt another speaker to ask for clarification and facts to support the speaker’s opinion, key point, or conclusion.
You make decisions quickly and change tactics rapidly based on new, relevant information you gather in your conversations.
Your writing style is brief, to the point, and captures no more information than is necessary to provide the essentials.
You are a matter-of-fact communicator who uses clear, factual language to present the realities of a situation.
You believe the facts speak for themselves and see no need to add opinions, judgments, reactions, or feelings.
You say what you mean, mean what you say, and expect others to do the same.
Your writing is well organized, factual, and clear. You present your information in a logical and structured manner that is easy to read and easy to follow.
You are a dramatic and persuasive communicator.
You are sensitive to your audience and rely on humor and passion to influence and persuade.
You are an excellent extemporaneous speaker who will speak on any subject and enjoy any opportunity to express your ideas.
As a writer, you focus on the bottom line and use visual information, simple language, and bullet points to emphasize your message.
Making the most of your interactions with family, friends, and coworkers (actually anyone you want or need to interact with) begins with our Communication That Works action guide.
Written from the perspective of your Perceptual Style, it not only provides insights about your communication strengths and challenges, it explores the communication differences between you and people with the other 5 Perceptual Styles.
Packed with tips on how to spot and mitigate communication disconnects quickly and easily, you'll be amazed at how quickly your communication skills improve. It's also a great reference tool for understanding the communication strengths of the other Perceptual Styles.
Communication That Works focuses on your communication strengths
and shows you how to create effective 2-way communication every time.
All communication requires at least two people a sender and a receiver.
When the sender and receiver have different Perceptual Styles
effective communication can be challenging because:
Each Perceptual Style has a different primary objective, delivery approach, and listening focus.
We all tend to assume better transmission of our meaning than actually occurs.
The disconnects we all suffer sometimes are due, in part, to taking communication for granted.
Communication That Works
Effective communication is critical to every part of your life - your relationships with family, success at work, and friendships that last.
You have a built-in communication filter and because of that filter, what you mean isn't always what others hear and vice versa.
At the core of your communication filter is your Perceptual Style (which you discovered in Celebrate You!). How you see the world and make it meaningful to you has everything to do with how you express yourself and how you listen.
This volume focuses on your core communications strengths and provides you with practical tips on how to maximize understanding and minimize disconnects. You will learn the keys to really hearing others, and you'll discover techniques to deliver your thoughts, your opinions, and your messages in order to maximize comprehension.
Unless you live alone on a desert island, you need Communication That Works!
Improve your delivery and listening skills.
Avoid communication disconnects.
Ensure what you have to say is heard and understood.
Take the Perceptual Style Assessment and review your results in Celebrate You!
Order the copy of Communication That Works that matches your Perceptual Style.
Follow the easy steps in Communication That Works to:
✔ Ensure your message is understood by your audience,
✔ Hone your listening skills to capture the meaning of what is being said, and
✔ Mitigate disconnects and maximize your communication effectiveness!