If you are Activity, who is your best match?
A common question we hear is, “What's the best romantic match for each of the Perceptual Styles." The assumption is that a person can select someone with a Perceptual Style that is most compatible, thus forming a never-ending, forever-loving relationship.
This premise seems like a no-brainer, given the information you can gather about each Perceptual Style from our books, articles, and workshops. However, it becomes a little challenging when we add human beings to the mix, which is the reason for the question in the first place.
Today, I'd like to look at the Perceptual Style relationship challenges experienced by Activity. After all, this is my Perceptual Style!
Here are some highlights of attractions and challenges for Activity with each of the other 5 styles:
Activity with Adjustments. Activity is attracted to Adjustments' willingness to listen to our stories, their deft use of language, and their quick grasp of nuance.
They are attracted to our curiosity, energy, and sense of humor.
We may be frustrated by what we perceive as their reluctance to move on because they continue to refine and polish and focus on unnecessary detail.
They may be frustrated by what they perceive as our flightiness, our lack of thoroughness, and our disdain for detail.
Activity with Flow. Activity is attracted by Flow's ability to build and honor community with others, their fascination with people and relationships, and their sensitivity to others' emotional states.
They are attracted by our spontaneity, sincerity, and interest in and involvement with people.
We can become frustrated by what we perceive as their unwillingness to change, their insistence on a steady rather than hurried pace, and their clinging to the past and traditions.
They can become frustrated by what they perceive as our focus on individuals rather than community, our easy distraction and sarcasm, and our disregard for traditions.
Activity with Goals. Activity is attracted to Goals' bold self-confidence, sense of urgency, and clarity of purpose.
They are attracted by our high energy, action orientation, and diverse network of friends and acquaintances.
We may be frustrated by what we perceive as their "bullheaded" approach, their lack of awareness of their impact on people, and their inability to laugh at themselves and their foibles.
They may be frustrated by what they perceive as our lack of focus, our foolishness, and our constant need for attention.
Activity with Methods. Activity is attracted by Methods' fact-based rationality, ability to break complex tasks into accurate step-by-step procedures, and the way they follow through on what they start.
They are attracted by our ability to multi-task, our spontaneity, and our broad range of interests.
We can become frustrated by what we perceive as their unwillingness to "break the rules," their need for order, and their refusal to get carried away in the excitement of an idea.
They can become frustrated by what they perceive as our lack of appreciation for structure, our inability to conform to rules and routines, and our superficiality.
Activity with Vision. Activity is attracted by Visions' intuition, willingness to take action and explore new ideas, and ability to prioritize.
They are attracted by our enthusiasm, curiosity, and ability to establish rapport with others easily.
We may be frustrated by what we perceive as their need always to be right, their unwillingness to slow down and listen, and their frequent ad-hoc changes in direction.
They may be frustrated by what they perceive as our lack of focus, our constant anecdotes, and our need to be at the center of things.
Maintaining a happy, healthy relationship requires work, no matter what (as you probably already know). That's because daily life has ups and downs, and it takes conscious effort to support, compromise, and deal with challenges and the good times.
The reality is that by understanding your Perceptual Style, you'll recognize the things that can make, bend, or break a relationship, and you'll have some practical things you can do to strengthen your relationships and deal with the inevitable disconnects.
Here is an example from my own life…
Those of you who follow our blogs know that my wife and business partner (Lynda-Ross) is Vision, and we have been married for 37 years. We've worked together for most of those years. While most people cringe at the thought of working with their spouse, we have found it to be positive and rewarding…for the most part.
Lynda-Ross' intuition, willingness to take action, explore new ideas, and ability to prioritize are a perfect match for my complex world where nothing is static and new ideas suddenly capture my imagination thanks to my gift for sensing patterns and relationships in the world of events, systems, ideas, and problems. We are at our best and are very effective when we work together, feeding off each other.
Because of her Vision Perceptual Style, Lynda-Ross will place my ideas in a time and space determined by her perspective of what needs to be done. Unfortunately, sometimes an idea may not fit with what she thinks is important, and then it's typically dismissed, and it will require detailed convincing to get her to revisit it.
This is not a problem as long as I keep in mind that my ideas are not being slighted or ignored; they typically are not. However, having to "sell" my partner on an idea that is a "no-brainer" to me sometimes adds a level of complexity and frustration that sometimes affects my delivery.
By the same token, people with the Vision Perceptual Style come across as not happy about being wrong, so selling an idea to get her to change her mind takes some creativity on my part. In addition, it isn't easy to get Lynda-Ross to slow down and listen to an off-shoot of an idea that we had already agreed to - I have to plan a proper approach to discuss it so she'll listen with an open mind.
With the Activity Perceptual Style, I am very active, always doing something which drives everyone else nuts. People comment that I am always in motion - thinking, doing, and being. While working in corporate America, I used to get in trouble during "planning sessions" because the team would close a topic as having a plan of action, and I would re-open it because of information from another subject later in the session or during the day. I often have work-related ideas in the middle of the night or while relaxing at the beach. This does not typically fit in the "vision" of what work/relax time is; however, Lynda-Ross has learned that I will not let the idea go, so she takes the time to listen (not always happily).
Because my mind works in so many different and sometimes conflicting ways, I often find it necessary to set the context to whatever topic I am on (sometimes because it is different from the one we discussed 2 minutes ago). In some cases, I find that using anecdotes and stories (much like this section of the blog) will get my point across better. Sometimes this can be overwhelming for others, like Lynda-Ross. I think she listens to the basics but secretly wishes I would get to the point and avoid all the anecdotes.
Understanding Perceptual Style will give you the information you need to understand yourself and see the strengths and blind spots between you and your partner. It’s up to you and your partner to work through the differences that will arise. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets.
The beauty of Perceptual Style is that you will have the tools to help you make intentional choices rather than shooting in the dark to see if something works.
Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.
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About Ricardo Vega
Ricardo Vega is the Director of Operations at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd. and a certified Perceptual Style Guide. He has over 40 years of experience in technology, product and project delivery, disaster recovery, and team coaching. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs and teams with Product Planning & Delivery, Team Building, and Change Administration. For more information, visit https://www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.
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