Not the sad kind of blue but based upon the Color Code, my core motivation is paired up with the colour blue. Within this program there are 4 colours (red, blue, yellow & white) and most of us have a mixture of all 4 – with the highest percentage being considered your core and the others being secondary influencers.
While I do happen to have all 4 colours, I have very little white (less than 2%). Walter’s main colour is white. Core motivation is one thing but it also turns out there is a direct correlation to communication style.
Walter and I were sitting around the fire this past evening (we live in the city but it felt like we were at camp with the neighbours fire crackling in the darkness on their side of the fence) when he shared that he had an idea. He explained it to me with enthusiasm and excitement – this was going to make a huge shift!
I immediately started asked why he said this and why had he not thought of that. After a bit of back and forth his idea had changed into something different. The basic premise being similar but the details having shifted.
I was a tad frustrated throughout this exchange. When I announce having an idea it’s usually after I formulated the concept, considered the possible permutations and explored all the avenues I could think of.
I explained to Walter that his words did not match his intention – if he had an idea, why had it not been totally thought through and why did he so easily alter his idea? He explained it was said with the intent to seek my thoughts and to discuss and flesh out the idea.
Why had he not said that in the first place? I suggested he do this in the future. It would make it easier for me to understand the flow of what was being discussed AND if I knew this up front I would not get frustrated with the conversation.
Being the wonderful man that he is Walter calmly explained that he is always seeking my thoughts and always expects that we will flesh out any idea together – he values my opinion. So…the only time I should deduce he’s got it all figured out – is when he says “let’s go” without adding anything else. Otherwise if he says “I’ve got an idea” it means he wishes to start a conversation and anticipates this will be lively banter until we get the idea to where it needs to go.
Translation: I was requesting (strongly suggesting) that in order for us to communicate better, Walter should adjust his way of communicating to reflect intentions which would be similar to mine.
Walter provided an alternate straight forward tool – if he says A it means X and if he says B it means Y. No room for any error in the interpretation.
The old me was screaming here while the new me pondered the rational logic of his explanation and suggestion. Why should he try to speak with my thought process? He chose to hand me the code book so I would be able to translate the intent of his words – being good to go.
When I was a child and one of my siblings or myself made the situation all about ourselves – brought the conversation back to what we were doing; what we were thinking; what we wanted – my dad would roll his eyes and say to no one in particular: “back to the centre of the world”. Meaning we were being self-centred and he wanted us to realize it – which we did not get since it was all about us anyway! I seem to recall he said this quite a bit when we were young. He was indeed a wise man.
I’m realizing it’s not about how I like to communicate. It’s not about thinking everyone else is either similar to me, should be similar to me, or should adjust to be similar to me in their communication style. It’s about doing your best to recognize each person’s individual style and interpreting their words based upon their intentions not your own.
I need to take off by blue coloured glasses and see every person as they are – whatever colour they may happen to be.
For a moment I wondered why it has taken me so many years to realize such a very simple but oh so important fact. Then I remember…we recognize something when we are able to understand and use it. I am grateful I was able to recognize this now! I have many more years ahead to communicate better with Walter.
I leave you with a few questions: What coloured glasses are you wearing? What does this say about your communication style? What about others in your life? What colour are they? Can this tool help you to guide your children? Understand and communicate better with your spouse? Help you with your interaction at work?
Check out the free basic Color Code here!
And please Let me know what colour you are!
I dedicate this post to 3 men: My father who has been gone for 1/2 my life but his lessons continue to resurfact; Walter, the best father I have ever known; and to our son who made Walter and I parents – constantly showing us avenues to improve upon: He is our guiding light. Happy Father’s Day!
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