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Why Bother Leading With Your Ears?

It’s been said that communication is key to relationships and I agree. Therefore, if  relationships hinge on our ability to communicate with others, then it is imperative that we know the best way to communicate with anyone. 

What’s Your Style?

For the sake of ease; communication styles can be condensed down to four different varieties. First, there is the analytical communicator. This type of communicator is methodical, task-oriented, and diplomatic. They want to make sure that everyone who needs to understand, understands.

Secondly, there is the direct communicator who is often perceived as demanding, but in reality, they are focused, independent, and confident. In comparison to analytical communicators, decisions come easily to direct communicators. 

Next is the initiator. This type of communicator is the life of the party, staff meeting or committee. They are sociable, enthusiastic, and spontaneous. Though they may talk more than listen and seem to make everyone laugh, they are serious about being creative and innovative. 

Finally, we have the supportive communicator. This individual may seem indecisive, but only because they are the best listeners. They may say the fewest words, but that is only because they think carefully before they formulate a response.  

Now if you are like me, you’ve already forgotten the first style I mentioned and that is okay. It is sufficient to say that we all have a preferred way of communicating and even though two people may share the same style of communication, everyone’s style is unique to them. 

I am going to confess that my brother Bruce is as close to being the perfect communicator as anyone I know. But instead of being envious, I’ve decided to learn from him. 

Bruce is an analytical communicator. Sometimes I’ve wished he’d say fewer words faster, but that is only because I am a direct communicator who gets impatient quickly.  

No matter who he is talking with, and no matter their style of communication, he lets his ears lead. Then, he responds according to what is needed. Like me, the direct communicator, he can make quick decisions when necessary. He also knows how to add fun to a party, staff meeting or committee meeting, as well as offer new ideas to old problems. 

Finally, Bruce is one of the people I count on as a support. When he knows I’m carrying a heavy load, he doesn’t ask, “What is on your mind?” He knows that people do not carry their burdens in their mind, they carry them on their hearts. So, when he asks, “What’s on your heart?” I know it is his invitation to unload my load. 

Why bother leading with your ears?  It is by the words of our mouths that we will be understood or misunderstood, respected or disrespected, liked or disliked. But it is by listening with our ears that we can understand, respect and love one another. 


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