Yesterday in a workshop on communications skills an introverted/people oriented person practiced trying to pitch a good idea to an extraverted/task-oriented person. The first couple of times he started with lots of lead-in words such as “How are you doing? For some time now I have been wanting to speak to you about something but haven’t had the chance…” etc. As I was playing the extraverted/task-oriented CEO I could acutely feel that the lead-in words were not spoken for my benefit. In fact I could even feel myself in that role being impatient and wanting the person to get to the point, it felt a little like wading through someone’s words to get to dry land.
When I made him do it a third time he nailed it. “I have a great idea…” were his opening words, his eyes sparkled. He was amazed himself at how much stronger he felt and he certainly looked tougher.
Two big insights came out of that for the group. One is my pet-subject that we always have the other side of the polarity inside ourselves, but what I want to focus on today is self-orientation. The insight I debriefed on was that the first two times our man had his orientation on himself, he was saying all those words for his own benefit, to feel comfortable. Now it helps to feel comfortable. Yet it is good to have awareness when you are oriented on yourself and not the other. For when you are addressing your own needs maybe even managing your own anxieties it affects the quality of the communication.
The remarkable thing yesterday was that when he switched his orientation to the other, his need became a desire to communicate effectively, therefore tuning the message towards how the other would best receive it. The end-result was that he felt even more than comfortable. He felt strong.
So yes of course it helps to feel comfortable to communicate effectively however the secret here seems to be that switching your self-orientation to the other can be a way to get there even better.