Ever wondered why no matter how many times you say something, the other person just doesn’t get it the way you want them to? Part of the reason is that each of the HealthTypes are wired to communicate differently. People aren’t trying to be annoying, boring, or ignorant – you’re just saying one thing, and they’re hearing something else.
Think of it as different languages, each with their own words, and specific rules for how to order the words and how to pronounce them. The meaning of any language is in its interpretation – so just because you think you’ve said something, doesn’t mean that’s how it was interpreted.
Here are some key tips for communicating with Guardians & Diplomats.
Both these types appreciate taking time. Time for everyone to get a full say, time for all the details to come out, and then time to mull it all over comfortably. They aren’t being slow or difficult, they are being thoughtful.
They both feel deeply, and store it for a long time. This means they’ll remember what was said years ago, and how it felt. So a reaction to something you’re saying now isn’t necessarily just a reaction to the present – it’s drawing on a lot of history. Be aware and respectful of this, and acknowledge when a Guardian or Diplomat is feeling emotions. You don’t need to take them personally, but you do need to let them know that you recognise them. Accept if certain words made them feel a certain way, and speak openly with them to find a way of expressing that they feel more comfortable with.
Guardians – Key Tips
They love a good, long conversation. The focus for the Guardian is on the relationship with you, even more than whatever the topic is. So they will love to ask you lots of questions and talk about all sorts of things, to really know you. They’re not being ‘off topic’ or ‘prying’ – they are just trying to build a strong connection with you.
Let them be expressive, and be expressive towards them in return. Guardians can be deeply passionate about what they love and care about. If they’re not doing this, and being closed of, this can often be a sign that they are unhappy, possibly deeply so. So encourage and allow them to express, no matter how long it takes. Connect with them at a deep level.
Ask them to share. Guardians are wonderful listeners – they will let you say all you need to, however you need to. But they won’t always say all they really need, unless you really ask them. Let them feel that you’re happily giving them all your attention, and as much time as they need, and that you want to listen. Remove anything that could be a distraction or interruption, because they are most likely to stop and not want to delay you from whatever the other thing is.
Diplomats – Key Tips
Pay them attention. Diplomats have a deep sense of righteousness, that everyone deserves to be seen and heard. When you’re communicating with them, really attend to them. They will also probably be the ones to notice if someone in the group isn’t being heard, and they will point this out.
Give them all the details. Diplomats are very thoughtful and love details. They want to hear them all, and they want a chance to share them all. If they think or feel you’re withholding something important, or neglecting to include everything they need to know, they’ll struggle to respond well. The more they know and understand about a situation, the safer they’ll feel about it, allowing them to process through it all and feel confident they’ve made their own, informed decision.
Diplomats communicate deeply, having strong minds and hearts. They appreciate the same in return. If you’re too brief with them, this can hurt their feelings and frustrate their minds. They may need to express things you find uncomfortable, lengthy, or offensive – but forcing them to keep it all in just says to them that you don’t care. So give them attention, even when it’s hard for you. When you give them your time and attention, the depth you will receive from a Diplomat is priceless.
It can be really tricky communicating in a way that doesn’t come naturally to you. It might seem forced, fake or just plain strange to you. You’re speaking someone else’s language though, so of course it will be very different. You don’t judge another language as ‘wrong’ because they order their sentences differently. You accept it, and learn it.
The best thing you can do, for yourself and the other person, is to be honest. Say that you’re trying to connect and understand each other better. And ask them if it’s working. Do they like that you did it this way, or would they prefer you did/ said something differently? It takes time and practice to learn a new language. And the best way to learn it, is to practice with a native speaker. Start off with someone you trust so you can get your bearings.
Remember, everyone is so much more than just their HealthType. Don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t fit the box and respond to all the general principles of their type. Interestingly, many people can in fact have communication characteristics of a very different type to their ‘main’ type. Always get to know someone personally.
If you’re fascinated and want to learn more, there are heaps of fantastic learning opportunities. The Coaching and Resources sections in your profile have loads of material. To go deeper, find out about the ph360 ½ Day Workshops, or the full 6 Week Mastery Series.
The more we learn, and the more we practice, the better we can be at truly connecting with and understanding each other.
To work 1:1 with Nat, Personalised Communication, Behaviour & Relationships coach, click here.
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