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 Sensors & Crusaders.
Both these types are highly logical thinkers. They communicate with purpose and precision. These can be the people who might respond to a descriptive, emotional outpouring, or a long-winded question with a simple ‘Ok’ or ‘No’. It can seem quite jarring if this isn’t your language, but for them, it isn’t rudeness, it just makes sense. Why use 200 words when you can use 2? Why use emotional padding that can cloud the actual point? They are the ones most likely to judge time as ‘wasted’ if communication has been ineffective – and they may well tell you, not as an attack, but just a straightforward statement of fact as far as they see it.
Sensors – Key Tips
Keep it toned down. Your volume, pitch, facial expressions, use of gestures and touch, the time you take, and use of emotional language makes for mountains of information to a highly sensitive mind. They’re picking up on absolutely everything. Toning down the delivery of what you’re saying means they won’t get drained or frustrated. For a Sensor, being sensitive means being reserved. If you can do this for them they will feel at ease, and respect you.
Respect their personal boundaries. Asking personal questions might seem thoughtful and caring to you, but it may feel intrusive to a Sensor. If they want to, they will share, but in their way, on their terms. When they do, treat it with the seriousness it deserves, because Sensors are very selective in who they trust with their personal matters, generally keeping a small circle. If you aren’t in that circle, it’s not an insult to you at all, the Sensor just might be have their personal limit of connections for now.
Ask permission to share your personal stuff. They might find it awkward or improper if they’re not ready for it or it seems out of place. Asking gives them time to classify the topic of conversation so they can respond accordingly. Don’t take their response badly. What a Sensor might classify as ‘too personal’ a topic to discuss, may not seem even remotely so to you.
Crusaders – Key Tips
Schedule your communication. Crusaders are incredibly focused, so they don’t generally respond well to interruption. What can seem like rudeness is actually them being frustrated at being suddenly pulled from one focus to another. If they are expecting you, then they can focus on you and what you have to say. When you do have their focus, use it efficiently – make it clear what the purpose of your discussion is and step through it logically with minimal tangents.
Let them speak. Even if they’re seeming to be terribly blunt, arguing or correcting them will only exacerbate things. They will generally say what they think, and they think critically. It’s usually not personal, they are just seeing things in a very straightforward, sometimes ‘black and white’ way.
Don’t take it personally. If something they do or don’t say upsets you, rather than load on your emotions, try to simply ask them if they meant “…” Generally they didn’t, and they might even be surprised that you thought that. This is often a part of what’s going on – they think they’ve said one thing, and you’ve felt they’ve said something else. Clarifying with specific questions and patience is your best solution.
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 the words in 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 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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