How mutual understanding improves everything in your life
What is the purpose of this podcast? Offer the free decluttering challenge and tease the Happiest Holidays community.
Live intro - Hello my lovelies. Today we're talking about mutual understanding and how it improves every area of your life. This is a great companion to the episode entitled, Why it's time to ditch the Golden Rule, which I will include in the show notes. While there are parts of the Golden Rule that are awesome, I am a proponent of the Platinum rule because it actually promotes mutual understanding, and I, for one, think that we need a lot more of that in this world. For those who are new to the podcast, my name is Karen Bemmes, and I am a certified DISC personality model consultant. I use the DISC personality system to help people understand themselves and others better to build better businesses and live better lives. The DISC system includes the Driven, Inspired, Supportive and Cautious personalities, also known as D I S and C personalities. Each of these personalities has unique ways of moving through the world, and when you understand them better, you minimize conflict and maximize cooperation. I know that the D and C personalities might find this a bit suspect, but follow along, and make your own evaluations.
Mutual understanding is a big concept, and one that I think is misunderstood in a big way because I think most people think of mutual understanding as agreement, and that's not it at all. What do I mean by that? Let me explain. In my relationship with my husband, we both dislike confrontation, so we avoid it even when we don’t agree on things. Rather than trying to convince the other person of our way of thinking, we let the other person have a different opinion rather than have a confrontation because we understand that for each of us, peace is more important than being right. If it’s something that demands a resolution, we will discuss it and try to figure out the best way to move forward, and yes, we may fuss about it a bit, but unless it’s a matter of great importance (we’re talking life or death here folks) we rarely argue. We may look for third party input, like a financial expert for financial issues, but we keep our arguments to a minimum. That said, and since the Divine seems to have a sense of humor, this past weekend, we had one of those rare arguments, and it was over something stupid, which meant that it was really something deeper and more important, and it took a while to figure it out, but we did, and things are better now.
For those who are a D or C personality, I understand that you may not like how we work through our differences, but we’ll get to your personality types, so be sure to stick with me. The plan for this podcast is to give you some examples for each personality type that have helped me understand others and build a better business and life because I know how to deal with people who are different from me. Do I always do it right or well? Obviously not as I said earlier, but it definitely helps most of the time. Are you ready to figure this out with me? Let’s do it!
Main Point 1 - As always, we start with the D personality. Understanding the D personality means that you know they are people who move fast and like to check things off their list, and there’s always a list, as quickly as possible. They will go until they drop if someone doesn't remind them to stop and refuel. They love variety, freedom and autonomy, which can make them challenging for the slower paced C and S personality types. They aren't much for feelings, which can be challenging for the 65% of the world who are people oriented because they can perceive them as an angry hurricane even when they aren't.
I have two great examples of understanding the D personality. The first is my friend Chrissie. I've said this about her and to her, and she's ok with me sharing. The coolest part about Chrissie is her self awareness. She knows who and how she is, and I've told her, she's one of the most self aware 30 somethings I've ever met. She knows she isn't warm and fuzzy, but she cares about people (or some people anyway), but her tasks call loudly to her, and she's compelled to handle them to prevent stress in her life and her home. In a business setting, she's professional, but she is definitely the person who is annoyed by a meeting that could have been an email. Knowing that as her business associate, I do my best to get to the point and not waste her time. Knowing that as her friend, I'm ok with her telling me she's run out of warm and fuzzy for the day, which is her very kind way of telling me she doesn't have the patience to deal with humans anymore. That way, I don't push her beyond her social limits and she doesn't blow up or get sarcastic with me. In truth, sarcasm is often the love language of D personalities, but there is a very different vibe when the D person is feeling great versus when they’re “done”. Knowing that can be the difference between creating a valuable business and friend relationship and having an enemy for life. Right?
Recently, I got a new lesson in the D personality. My husband and I were visiting our brother and sister in law when their son, our nephew, showed up with his children. Our nephew is most definitely a high D although he's never taken an assessment. Sometimes you just know. Anyway, he and his son were wrestling and messing with one another and at one point, our nephew pinned his son on his lap so he couldn't escape. His son started screaming "Ow. Ow! OW!" This went on for longer than I could stand it, and I yelled at my nephew to stop hurting his son. The second my nephew let go of his son, his son stopped yelling and within 30 seconds was pestering my nephew again. So what can a people loving person like me learn from this? The first thing is that what I thought was an abusive situation was actually a bonding experience for my nephew and his son who have a very different outlook on what play looks like. They were both having fun, but I wasn't. What I figured out later was that the reason I was bothered was because that was something that happened in my family too, but I hated it. It triggered a memory of being treated in a way that I couldn't stand, and it was upsetting for me. My nephew and his son didn't know that, and they were just having fun. Lesson learned.
Main Point 2 - If you want to understand an I person, you need to learn that fun is part of their DNA and they enjoy freedom and recognition. The mistake that many people make with the I personality is thinking that they are shallow because they're not, at least most of the time. For them, making people happy is a sacred thing. Laughter from those they love is like a drug to an I personality. Seeing their loved ones happy is the best thing in the world for them, and when those loved ones recognize the I person's contribution to that happiness, the I person is over the moon, seriously. The Mark Twain quote “I can go two months on a good compliment” sums up the I personality really well. They aren’t lazy as some might assume, but they most definitely work better in groups because it charges them up in huge ways whereas working alone can be incredibly difficult for them.
They love getting to know people and while some may think they’re being nosy because they ask so many questions, the truth is that they are genuinely interested and are looking for ways to connect to you as a person. When my husband and I first started dating, back in the pre-Google days (mind your manners on those “old” comments), I asked so many questions about his Type 1 diabetes that he truly thought I couldn’t handle being with someone, like him, who has the condition. The truth was that I had only known one person in my entire life who had diabetes, and it was type 2 and developed when they were in their 80s. I knew nothing about the condition or what to look for or be concerned about. Fortunately, I learned and continued to refine what I know about my husband’s condition, and 30+ years later, it’s part of our lives rather than a possible source of misunderstanding. Also, because I understand his personality, I know how to approach him better about his ever changing condition in ways that don’t feel overwhelming or pushy, at least most of the time.
Main Point 3 - If you want to understand an S person, it’s important to know that they detest confrontation and often struggle with change. An S person can even choose being uncomfortable over changing to something that is good for them, which can make those that care about that person shake their heads in disbelief. If you want an S person to change or know something that will help them, it helps if you do a couple of things well. The first is to understand that while the I and D personalities embrace and even seek out change, the S personality much prefers changes to be gradual if they happen at all. Even if they know change is coming, it makes them uneasy, so showing them over and over how the change can or will benefit them helps them transition. Confronting them about it will only make them dig their heels in and resist things further.
I’ve learned this about my husband because he’s someone who doesn’t like to move house, and we are approaching the subject of where we want to live when he is retired. I say approaching, but my husband could be working anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending upon the economy, so we’re having conversations about where and how we want to live in retirement now so that my husband doesn’t feel rushed. I know that may seem strange to some people, but if you live with a high S person, you know what I’m talking about, and when you can prepare them for change, everything goes better in your relationship. And if change is this difficult for an S in a living situation, imagine how difficult it can be in a work environment.
Main point 4 - Moving onto the C personality, they also struggle with change, especially abrupt ones because they thrive on consistency. They detest when things are not properly planned out or are executed without them knowing the standards. To understand the C personality, it helps to know that these people love data and details, and the more data and details you give them or they can give you, the happier they are. If that doesn’t happen, they can withdraw and shut you out like no one else. You will get zero input from them if they feel “wronged” until you make it right in their view, and even then, it will take a good long while to rebuild trust. With the C personality, trust is hard won and easily lost, so don’t cross them if you want them to stay in your life.
The important thing to understand about the C personality is that a C personality can appear uptight and unyielding to some, but the truth is that the C personality thrives with structure, rules and consistency. Flexibility is not their strong suit, but when allowed to follow their north star of detailed structure, they can be some of the most wonderful people to be around. Need something researched? They are your go to person. For example, when our oldest child was looking at colleges, my husband created a spreadsheet of the costs and how much our son would owe in loans from each of the colleges he was accepted to. Only one afforded him the opportunity to graduate debt free, and when our son saw that, there was no argument, and the college process was much easier than we anticipated. Also, my husband started researching cars for himself because his vehicle was starting to act up and needed more frequent trips to the garage. The car was over a decade old and had nearly 300,000 miles on it, but by doing the research over several months and knowing what the inventory was when his car finally quit, he was prepared to buy a new vehicle in a couple of days.
Did we still have to look at multiple options? Absolutely! Did we still have a discussion about paying $1000 more for the one he really wanted? Yup, and that was definitely an interesting conversation because my husband was willing to give up the car he truly wanted over $1000 until we talked about how he usually drives cars for ten years or more and that $1,000 over time would be less than a nickel per day and maybe as little as a penny per day. Then it made sense to him because he looked at the details. See how that works? Now he has a car he loves at a price that made sense to him, and he enjoys driving that car every day. Would he be happier if it wasn’t to work? You bet, but if he has to go to work, that car makes the drive to work as happy as it can be.
Mutual understanding may seem like a huge thing to figure out, but that’s where I come in. It all starts with taking an assessment to figure out how you’re wired, because once you learn that, you can learn how to deal better with all of the people in your life, especially the difficult ones. And you never know how learning to understand someone can do for your relationships, your business and your life. Everyone makes so much more sense, and you see the value of people you may have only found annoying in the past. Go to the Moving Toward Better dot com home page and hit that Take an Assessment button or click the link in the show notes. I promise it can truly help you find your way to better in your business and your life.
Speaking of helping, I’m currently working on a project with my friend Jeannine of Sweet, Humble Home on some fantastic ways to help you navigate the holidays. We’ll be unveiling that in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that. To make sure you don’t miss any of the best information, head over to the Moving Toward Better website today and sign up for our email community. And if you want to learn more about understanding those you love, check out the episode entitled, Why it's time to ditch the Golden Rule. The link is in the show notes.Until next time, keep moving toward better and shining your light as brightly as you can. Love you all!
Mutual understanding is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and everyone around you. In a world that seems to be intent on dividing us, this type of mutual understanding heals relationships, builds businesses and brings people back together. Ready to help unite rather than divide? Then this is for you.
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Link to Ditch the Golden Rule and embrace the Platinum Rule: https://www.movingtowardbetter.com/podcasts/moving-toward-better/episodes/2147710947
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