Because we are wired to, literally!
Before a human’s brain can think “Logically”, any thought process must first go through two gates.
Our “First Instincts” judge the source of the information.
This is our “first impression” filter.
Biologists believe these decisions are made in the first part of our brain that was developed – the so called “Reptilian Brain”.
This is where the amygdala sits.
Here we decide if the source is a “Friend” or a “Foe”, a potential sexual partner or someone we can ignore.
Typical body language that stimulates this include: hiding or clenching hands versus exposing them (there could be a weapon somewhere), hunching over protecting our vital organs versus exposing them so we are appearing vulnerable, showing our bottom teeth (rather scary) versus showing our top (as in smiling), and playing with our hair.
We make a split decision to run, stay or ignore.
If you are lucky to get to the next gate, this is where all the emotional baggage comes in.
This gate some call the “Mammalian Brain”
All your fears and current pending problems are stimulated.
Common fears are fear of failure, fear of not looking good, fear of change, and fear of making a mistake.
Many psychologists believe that most other fears are derived from them.
Let’s take the classic example of the bookkeeper talking to the salesman.
The Bookkeeper wants the sale paperwork filled out properly, the “T”s crossed and “I”s dotted.
They want to invoice correctly, they want the contract tight so there is little or no risk in the deal.
The bookkeeper is frustrated by the salesman’s lack of attention to details and paperwork.
The sales person’s frustrated by accountant as they are slowing down the sale that he’s finally got over the line.
He just wants to document signed off so he can move onto the next deal.
The delay is making him look bad to his client and he’s worried he may lose him.
They both want the same thing, but they see different sides of the solution.
What is happening here is that emotion is being dredged up.
Each party is being frustrated by the other. They have unmet expectations and their biggest fears are being pressed.
Too much frustration leads to anger.
If you have managed to get through to final gate, then you can start logically processing the information.
That may include adapting your communication style and message with the other party so that you do not inflame the conversation.
For many, it is too late.
So What’s the Answer?
Being aware of the other person’s fears and behavioural style before you started the conversations helps.
Knowing this you can apply the right communication style or formula to move through the gates.
I say formula, but many refer to it as a key or a phone number.
One piece out of sequence and it all falls down.
What are these magic formulas?
Chances are you already know which ones work best on yourself as well as your close friends.
Our future articles will show you how to best adapt with each behavioural style that you meet.
This will help you get over speed-humps in building effective and productive relationships with people who have different behavioural profiles to your own.
Perform Zone runs leadership workshops that teach you how to spot different types of natural behavioural profiles and how to tailor your communication style to get the best from them and minimise arguments.
Sit our free DISC questionnaire to see what the DISC model tells you about your behavioural profile.