Styles & differences in preferences are not a problem to be solved, to go away. They are a distance to bridge and manage on an on-going basis throughout the life of the relationship. Some of the differences that collaborators and partners may need to bridge:
Pacing or Relationship to Time
Not important ————————————————–Very important
Can’t be broken down —————–Is only related to in increments
or segmented and fixed amounts or segments
Past oriented ————————————————–Future oriented
Rational / concrete ————————————-Emotional /abstract
Linear —————————————————— Circular or cyclical
Co-op or collective (consensus) ——————————Hierarchical
Assertive / takes initiative ——————–Passive / avoid / let go by
Communication Method Preference
Email ——————————— Phone ————————In-person
Learning and Information Processing Style
Auditory ——————————–Visual —————————Kinetic
The more you know where both you and your partner stand on these style, structure and orientation spectrums, the better you will be able to minimize unconstructive tensions and maximize the diversity by complimenting each other rather than struggling with the differences. By acknowledging differences (being transparent) and planning how you will intentionally utilize that difference you will create the best possible outcome.
Communication is absolutely critical for managing differences, as these differences create various expectations and assumptions. In order to move forward effectively, productively, and in harmony, we need to resist making assumptions and make a commitment to communicating in an effort to clarify any expectations or other issues that might arise.
With every communication we have there is the potential for misinterpretation through errors either in the encoding or decoding of the message.
“It is crucial that partners resolve differences as they arise – communication is key”