Talking in Defense

It’s been nearly 24 hours since a very difficult conference call and I’m still a little cheesed about it. I tried everything I could last night to get over it. I cut the grass. I went for a run. I watched a movie. I woke up this morning and sure enough, it’s still on my mind. I’ve been trying to let it go, move on, think of other more important things and yet it keeps popping up. The only way I can explain it is to use a lyric from one of my favorite all-time songs, “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics.

“We all talk a different language talking in defense”

Yesterday’s conference call was a text book example of the different personality styles that HR Departments usually use to identify their employees. You can find the entire list HERE, but let’s look at two specific groups – Expressive and Driver.

Expressive – Very outgoing and enthusiastic, with a high energy level. They are also great idea generators, but usually do not have the ability to see the idea through to completion. They enjoy helping others and are particularly fond of socializing. They are usually slow to reach a decision. Often thought of as a talker, overly dramatic, impulsive, and manipulative.

Driver – They thrive on the thrill of the challenge and the internal motivation to succeed. Drivers are practical folks who focus on getting results. They can do a lot in a very short time. They usually talk fast, direct and to the point. Often viewed as decisive, direct and pragmatic.

I’ll give you one guess which one I am and it’s not Driver. I am a textbook example of an Expressive. You can imagine what happens when you pit an “Expressive” against a “Driver”. The results can be toxic. I dream. I’m impulsive. I like to cast a vision and let others “figure out the details”. Drivers want those details to accompany the vision. They want the answers to the impulse. When you don’t have them they tend to react in a very direct way. Both people begin to “talk in defense”. Not much gets accomplished because “Expressive’s” get hurt, defensive and start talking more. Drivers get mad, frustrated and react more. Each defending their position.

Personality training classes will tell you we need to be able to mold to other personality types. It is important to understand that we are all different. Our differences are actually a blessing. If it wasn’t for drivers, the vision and ideas of expressive’s would never come to pass. Drivers work out the details and ask the tough questions. I am trying to remember that today and back away from my defense of my position to see another side.

It doesn’t mean I like it though….

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