Every person has predominate patterns that drive how they communicate and respond to situations. And very often, as consultants, it is crucial for us to understand who we are dealing with. So let's have a look at the five pattern filters and what they reveal to us about how to effectively communicate with others:
1. Direction: Towards or away from
Each of us is motivated to gain pleasure and avoid pain or loss, but one of those drives is a particular person's primary mode. To discover your own primary mode, or someone else's, ask a question such as, "What's important to you about work?" and pay close attention to the words used to answer. Those who prefer moving towards opportunities will talk about goals and what they want to achieve.
2. Reason: Possibility or necessity
This pattern filter helps us understand why people take action. If asked, "Why did you choose your last project?" those who act on possibility will talk about the opportunity, choice or variety of the project. Those who primarily act out of necessity will refer to the step-by-step process of making their decision, the reason(s) they must do it and the importance of finding the exact solution before taking action.
3. Convincer: Five senses and frequency
The convincer pattern demonstrates what a person must experience to become convinced of something. If you ask, "How do you know when a person is talented?" they will tell which of their senses must be triggered and the frequency of that demonstration (once, two or three times, or continually). Use this information to frame your conversations with individuals, and your communication skills will be enhanced.
4. Attention: Self or others
Attention focuses on how people show other people they're paying attention. It's a subtle pattern that you must observe. Self-sorters are all about themselves – they give little attention to what someone is saying until it directly concerns or interests them. Those who sort by others pay attention with eye contact and provide feedback when others are speaking.
5. Focus: General or specific
When we have a general focus, we're big-picture, high-level-overview, forest-for-trees thinkers. We often speak in generalities and are quick to summarize ideas or points. Those whose primary focus is specific are motivated by details and sequences. They want precision and exactness and are trees-for-forest thinkers.