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interaction styles

Coaching for Interaction Style Stress

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Coaching for Interaction Style Stress

Knowing our personality Type preferences or our Interaction Style can help us better understand what triggers our stress, and how to move out of it quicker. 

For example, the In-Charge™ Interaction Style is driven by a need to accomplish. Shit needs to get done, or we get nervous. As the name implies, we like to be in control, and our energy tends to come across as determined and assertive. When things don't go our way, our first reaction might be to apply a little more pressure, to see if we can push through the resistance and get it done anyway. 

Meme from Pinterest

Meme from Pinterest

If sheer force can't will our goals into existence, we might get more and more demanding, eventually turning to point fingers and unloading a torrent of abuse at the next available person. (Or object. Many are the tables and chairs I've kicked in frustration.) Since this approach rarely works, our stressful situations of non-accomplishment usually end in a devastating anti-climax of pouty and petty "whatever"'s.

We don't really not care, we're just stressed and at a loss how to get it where it needs to be.

Remind you of anyone? Personality Type patterns that share this Interaction Style are ESTJ, ENTJ, ENFJ, and ESTP. 

Here's where we want to remember that the one thing we can always control is our response. Awareness of Interaction Style stress won't stop it from ever happening again, but you'll be able to come out of it quicker. Think about a small thing you can do, and go do it. Check something off your list. Even if it's not related to the project you're working on; you'll still need a sense of accomplishment. 

Be patient with yourself. Are you multi-tasking again? Trying to concentrate of various things at the same time is a good predictor for not getting anything done at all. Focus on one thing at a time, and figure out who can help you. We're all Extraverts in this scenario, talking it over with a trusted friend or colleague will help. 

And my favorite reminder comes straight out of www.matrixinsights.com

Seek a broader understanding

Just because you think nothing is happening doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing is happening. No matter what your role or perspective, you will not have visibility into every perspective. Seek to understand issues from different perspectives by asking questions and putting yourself “in others' shoes.”

I'm opening a coaching program specifically for people with ENFJ preferences next month. If you'd like to learn more about it, and get a demo of Matrix Insights, visit buildingthelifeyouwant.com/enfj and sign up for the webinar. 

Interaction Styles™ are based on Linda Berens, PhD theory and part of her Berens CORE™ Approach. I've written about them before and recommend you buy her book or visit Linda's website

Image thanks to bottled_void on flickr, Creative Commons license

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Recognizing Personality Type in Behaviors

Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. developed a model of four different Interaction Styles. These explain how we use our behaviors and energies to influence and relate to others. Awareness of your Interaction Style will allow you to

  • Improve private and professional relationships
  • Enjoy more effective communication
  • Develop more flexible leadership and team working skills

The four Interaction Styles describe patterns of different communication, role, and attention preferences. They form the basic framework for each style.

During a recent Interaction Styles Workshop, a participant commented on how some of his IT team members don't say anything during meetings. I suggest how a knowledge of Interaction Styles may provide actionable strategies to create more effective cooperation. (Note: due to the position of the camera, the participant's audio is a little low and I move out of frame.) Slide graphic taken from the Berens CORE™ Approach (with permission). Excerpt from "Understanding Yourself and Others® - An Introduction to Interaction Styles 2.0" by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. (with permission).

Chart-the-Course™ The theme is having a course of action to follow. People of this style focus on knowing what to do and keeping themselves, the group, or the project on track. They prefer to enter a situation having an idea of what is to happen. They identify a process to accomplish a goal and have a somewhat contained tension as they work to create and monitor a plan. The aim is not the plan itself, but to use it as a guide to move things along toward the goal. Their informed and deliberate decisions are based on analyzing, outlining, conceptualizing or foreseeing what needs to be done.

Behind-the-Scenes

The theme is getting the best result possible. People of this style focus on understanding and working with the process to create a positive outcome. They see value in many contributions and consult outside inputs to make an informed decision. They aim to integrate various information sources and accommodate differing points of view. They approach others with a quiet, calm style that may not show their strong convictions. Producing, sustaining, defining and clarifying are all ways they support a group's process. They typically have more patience than most with the time it takes to gain support through consensus for a project or to refine the result.

In-Charge

The theme is getting things accomplished through people. People of this style are focused on results, often taking action quickly. They often have a driving energy with an intention to lead a group to the goal. They make decisions quickly to keep themselves and others on task, on target, and on time. They hate wasting time and having to back-track. Mentoring, executing actions, supervising, and mobilizing resources are all ways they get things accomplished. They notice right away what is not working in a situation and become painfully aware of what needs to be fixed, healed, or corrected.

Get-Things-Going

The theme is persuading and involving others. They thrive in facilitator or catalyst roles and aim to inspire others to move to action, facilitating the process. Their focus is on interaction, often with an expressive style. They Get-Things-Going™ with upbeat energy, enthusiasm, or excitement, which can be contagious. Exploring options and possibilities, making preparations, discovering new ideas, and sharing insights are all ways they get people moving along. They want decisions to be participative and enthusiastic, with everyone involved and engaged.

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ENTP

www.mbtiparty.com Since the ENTP got the most "likes" after I posted all type descriptions on facebook, let's take a closer look, shall we?

:-)

What you may not already know about the ENTP is that this preference pattern has a "Get-Things-Going™" Interaction Style. Dr. Berens also refers to this type as "Explorer Inventor". Their theme is "discovering new ways of seeing things and doing things. Informing and enlightening others with valuable information. Enjoy exploring ideas with others, and trust what emerges from the interactions to be what is needed to get them to the goal."*

In terms of Neuroscience of Type (Dario Nardi, PhD), ENTP-brains often show their dominant extraverted Intuiting function in the form of a "Christmas Tree" pattern. That means all brain regions are fed with energy in rapid succession and cross-referenced, enabling the Ne function to see patterns and "quickly tap into relationships across contexts".*

Do you have another Type you'd like to see featured? Leave a comment below!

*Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles 2.0, Linda V. Berens, PhD, Radiance House, 2008. Email me if you'd like a copy.

*Neuroscience of Personality, Dario Nardi, PhD, Radiance House, 2011

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Working from Behind-the-Scenes™

One of my favorite exercises in every workshop I facilitate is where participants get to share their unique viewpoint on their own preferences - what their strengths are, what their challenges are, how to best work with them, and how they're often misunderstood. During a recent workshop on Interaction Styles, here's what came out for the Behind-the-Scenes™ style:

Strengths:

  • Consensus with good result

Challenges:

  • Many ideas
  • How to reconcile different views

How to work with us:

  • Communicate with Us
  • Listening but may not use input
  • Be patient

Common misconception:

  • We do not get the results needed

This group of Behind-the-Scenes™ leaders received feedback from their colleagues in the form of appreciation of their strengths, and the advantages they bring to the team: quality, considering unusual sources of input, and making connections where others may not. We were also able to clarify that their decision-making style is consultative, i.e. we'll listen but may not use your input.

To help you clarify if this may be your Interaction Style preference, or that of someone you live or work with, here's the Behind-the-Scenes™ pattern description taken from Dr. Berens' book:

The theme is getting the best result possible. People of this style focus on understanding and working with the process to create a positive outcome. They see value in many contributions and consult outside inputs to make an informed decision. They aim to integrate various information sources and accommodate differing points of view. They approach others with a quiet, calm style that may not show their strong convictions. Producing, sustaining, defining and clarifying are all ways they support a group’s process. They typically have more patience than most with the time it takes to gain support through consensus for a project or to refine the result.

 

Thanks to freedigitalphotos.net for the free pic!

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3 Tips to Get-Things-Going™

One of my favorite exercises in every workshop I facilitate is where participants get to share their unique viewpoint on their own preferences - what their strengths are, what their challenges are, how to best work with them, and how they're often misunderstood. During a recent workshop on Interaction Styles, here's what came out for the Get-Things-Going™ style:

Strengths:

  • Everyone agrees / happy

Challenges:

  • Lots of emotion
  • Want to please everyone

How to work with us:

  • Listen & breathe
  • Include everyone
  • Have buy in

Common misconception:

  • We're too soft, or too slow

This group of Get-Things-Going™ leaders received feedback from their colleagues in the form of appreciation of their strengths, and the advantages they bring to the team: harmony, motivation, and fun. We were also able to clarify that their influence is easily underrated, because it truly becomes evident only when they're not on the team, taking care of everyone. Without them, you'll miss the "glue", and projects may not run as smoothly.

To help you clarify if this may be your Interaction Style preference, or that of someone you live or work with, here's the Get-Things-Going™ pattern description taken from Dr. Berens' book:

The theme is persuading and involving others. They thrive in facilitator or catalyst roles and aim to inspire others to move to action, facilitating the process. Their focus is on interaction, often with an expressive style. They Get-Things-Going™ with upbeat energy, enthusiasm, or excitement, which can be contagious. Exploring options and possibilities, making preparations, discovering new ideas, and sharing insights are all ways they get people moving along. They want decisions to be participative and enthusiastic, with everyone involved and engaged.

 

Thanks to freedigitalphotos.net for the free pic!

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How do you know if you're In-Charge™?

One of my favorite exercises in every workshop I facilitate is where participants get to share their unique viewpoint on their own preferences - what their strengths are, what their challenges are, how to best work with them, and how they're often misunderstood. During a recent workshop on Interaction Styles, here's what came out for the In-Charge™ style:

Strengths:

  • We get things done.

Challenges:

  • Working with others
  • Push past people
  • Not getting buy-in

How to work with us:

  • Get to the point
  • Don't waste my time
  • Must have action / result

Common misconception:

  • We're pushy, impersonal, and unemotional

This group of In-Charge™ leaders received feedback from their colleagues in the form of appreciation of their strengths, and the advantages they bring to the team: results, direction, and an attention to timely delivery. We were also able to clarify that making a decision quickly does not mean that decision will have to stand forever; rather, new decisions can be made if and when new information comes to light.

To help you clarify if this may be your Interaction Style preference, or that of someone you live or work with, here's the In-Charge™ pattern description taken from Dr. Berens' book:

The theme is getting things accomplished through people. People of this style are focused on results, often taking action quickly. They often have a driving energy with an intention to lead a group to the goal. They make decisions quickly to keep themselves and others on task, on target, and on time. They hate wasting time and having to back-track. Mentoring, executing actions, supervising, and mobilizing resources are all ways they get things accomplished. They notice right away what is not working in a situation and become painfully aware of what needs to be fixed, healed, or corrected.

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Interaction Styles

Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. developed a model of four different Interaction Styles we use to influence and relate to others. Awareness of your Interaction Style will allow you to

  • Improve private and professional relationships
  • Enjoy more effective communication
  • Develop more flexible leadership and team working skills

The four Interaction Styles describe patterns of different communication, role, and attention preferences. They form the basic framework for each style.

During a recent Interaction Styles Workshop, a participant commented on how some of his IT team members don't say anything during meetings. Doris suggests how a knowledge of Interaction Styles may provide actionable strategies to create more effective cooperation. (Note: due to the position of the camera, the participant's audio is a little low and Doris moves out of frame.) Slide graphic taken from the Berens CORE™ Approach (with permission). Excerpt from "Understanding Yourself and Others® - An Introduction to Interaction Styles 2.0" by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. (with permission).

Chart-the-Course™ The theme is having a course of action to follow. People of this style focus on knowing what to do and keeping themselves, the group, or the project on track. They prefer to enter a situation having an idea of what is to happen. They identify a process to accomplish a goal and have a somewhat contained tension as they work to create and monitor a plan. The aim is not the plan itself, but to use it as a guide to move things along toward the goal. Their informed and deliberate decisions are based on analyzing, outlining, conceptualizing or foreseeing what needs to be done.

Behind-the-Scenes

The theme is getting the best result possible. People of this style focus on understanding and working with the process to create a positive outcome. They see value in many contributions and consult outside inputs to make an informed decision. They aim to integrate various information sources and accommodate differing points of view. They approach others with a quiet, calm style that may not show their strong convictions. Producing, sustaining, defining and clarifying are all ways they support a group's process. They typically have more patience than most with the time it takes to gain support through consensus for a project or to refine the result.

In-Charge

The theme is getting things accomplished through people. People of this style are focused on results, often taking action quickly. They often have a driving energy with an intention to lead a group to the goal. They make decisions quickly to keep themselves and others on task, on target, and on time. They hate wasting time and having to back-track. Mentoring, executing actions, supervising, and mobilizing resources are all ways they get things accomplished. They notice right away what is not working in a situation and become painfully aware of what needs to be fixed, healed, or corrected.

Get-Things-Going

The theme is persuading and involving others. They thrive in facilitator or catalyst roles and aim to inspire others to move to action, facilitating the process. Their focus is on interaction, often with an expressive style. They Get-Things-Going™ with upbeat energy, enthusiasm, or excitement, which can be contagious. Exploring options and possibilities, making preparations, discovering new ideas, and sharing insights are all ways they get people moving along. They want decisions to be participative and enthusiastic, with everyone involved and engaged.

If you'd like to bring an Interaction Styles workshop to your organization or community:

E-mail me

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