Communication is everywhere. Me writing this blog post is a form of communication, the guy smiling at you in the train is communication and your boss telling you off is communication. What all these situations have in common is the fact that some kind of information is being exchanged, which, to be honest, does not mean that both sides of the communication understand the same message. The guy in the train definitely smiles at me because I have something in my face, or my hair looks weird and he is laughing at me. My boss shouts at me for no reason and therefore is a jackass. This is my side of the communication, what you do with it or what the other person actually meant to bring across might be something totally different.
While the situation with the stranger in the train might not be to critical, apart from your ego being crushed, when it comes to your boss screaming at you it might be helpful to have a closer look at the communication process. Take all facts into account and then judge whether he is a jackass or maybe he just had a fight with his wife and does not know how to handle it.
To check out my own communication style and also learn about others, I attended a seminar at work which was super interesting. The scheme that they taught us is very easy to understand and, in my opinion, perfectly easy to apply in everyday situations. This is a very rough breakdown to give you an idea:
Yellow: Extroverted, Feeling
Blue: Introverted, Thinking
Red: Extroverted, Thinking
Green: Introverted, Feeling
How it works is, that everyone has a preference. It can be one, two, maybe three colours that you favour. No not four, that would make you some kind of super human, you can’t favour all four colours.
So in my case, it is quite easy and clear, I love yellow, yellow and I have a very special relationship. How do I know this? Well to join this seminar I had to take a test where they asked a bunch of questions and my answers showed them which colour I prefer. But even without that test I should have known. And so can you. Simply ask yourself, and be honest: Do you like to think things through before you do it, are you an analytical person, or do you dive right in, listening to your gut feeling? Well I am the latter. And then would you describe yourself as very extroverted or rather introverted? As I love to talk and sing and dance in public, just as an example, I would describe myself as extroverted.
So lets say that guy on the train was mostly yellow (with a lot of green as he does not just come right over to talk to you), trying to be nice and giving you a compliment. But you are blue plus you happen to have a bad hair day and no self-confidence today. The message he is sending is bound to be misunderstood. Or the screaming boss, the trouble with his wife made him scream at you, if you are a person with a green preference, you might be offended straight away without confronting him about being unreasonable. You might lose any respect for him and don’t enjoy working with him because you never had the chance to hear the whole story and maybe understand him. Whereas a red person might just go for the confrontation and have the situation straightened out at the spot.
Every one of the four colours has its situations where it is most useful. I am preferring yellow, my second favourite colour is red, blue is my least favourite colour. But apparently(the test says so) I am trying really hard to be more blue. Because especially in a work environment it is important to be more analytical and measured at times.
Which colour are you? And which one are you trying to get a bit more of?