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8.03.2011

ASK AND TELL

There really isn't one thing any of us do that we don't say, think or approach through the unique lens of our personalities - the way we are wired.  It takes extreme consciousness to think about how the receiving person can best hear what we say through the filter lens of their own personality.  It takes even more effort to try to meet them where they are.  When I sold real estate I had to work on that skill.  Selling, buying or listing properties you had to learn to be akin to the nuisances of people's learning styles, their personality bents.  You had to study how they talked and talk to them in that way.  To the analytical personality I had to talk and provide stats, figures, logic.  To the relational personality I used human connectedness.  I am by nature pretty direct.  Hopefully not cruel, or brash, but direct.  I say what I mean and if I say it, I mean it 100%.  I don't process things out loud, so when I say it the processing is usually over.  People who process out loud can drive me nuts from time to time.  I'm sure I never do them:)   My daughter, when growing up, would do what all kids do - try to change the mind or answer of their parent.  Never is an absolute word leaving no room for ever in it.  And, I never changed my mind.  She would ask if she could do this or that and I would say no.  She would regroup and come back, trying it from another angle.  Finally one day I said, "Hannah, you've been playing this song for years.  Have I ever changed my mind when you come back the second or third or fourth time to ask me if you can do something?  No!  Then, why do you think I will this time!"  Because of my own processing system, when I ask a question I am seeking information having to do with only that question.  Meaning, I have already processed all I know and that question is the piece I need to finish the puzzle.  I want the answer to it, and it only.  My skin begins to separate from my flesh when I ask someone a direct question, seeking a specific answer to that specific question, and I end up with a shit load of words and no answer to my question.  The shit load usually contains stuff I already know (that's why I didn't ask those questions!) and don't need.  Now I am not alluding at all or presuming that I know all there is to know, but questions are to be answered.  Please!!!  Recently during the demolition home improvement project we were in the middle of, I called my brother-in-law with a sawalls in my hand.   I wanted my question of, "What is the best way to separate the rafters of the room we are tearing down from the outside roof line of the house?" answered.  20 minutes later, more information than could be stored in the Library of Congress and no simple, direct answer I thanked him and hung up.  At about 2 minutes into the conversation, when the answer to my question didn't come in a simple, straightforward form, I literally quit listening.  He is the greatest guy in the world and I love him deeply.  We though, couldn't be more different in our communicative styles.  He was speaking his and I, with my own, couldn't follow a damn thing he said.  The risk of those that think and process out loud is that they are heard by those of us that don't process or think out loud.  I am absolute.  When I ask it, I want the answer or the information I seek.  When I say it, I will do what I say.  And, when I talk I have a direct point.  Which leads me to my mom.  She is notorious for telling such a detailed story that you get lost in its longness.  I've actually heard my dad say, "So, what is your point?"  :)  He's direct.  That's probably where I get it.

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