Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Understanding Yourself Leads To Understanding Others

Transactional Model of CommunicationImage via WikipediaIt's always interesting to ask a child what a word or phrase means and get their response.  Once you realize how they interpret everyday words and conversation, you wonder if you are ever really communicating with a child at all.  In a first grade class today, we were watching a video where the main character makes the statement, "I am worthwhile" which was really the main point or theme of the whole video.  I asked the children before the movie what does 'worthwhile' mean?  Only one brave soul raised her hand and here was her definition of 'worthwhile'... "It's when you have wild boys or girls."  Good thing I clarified that don't you think?

In all we do everyday there is a lot of room for interpretation and clarification.  I'm not just talking about children but adults as well.  One way that we can improve our chances of understanding each other and communicating with each other is by understanding our different personality types.  According to the DISC personality profile there are four basic personality types and 41 possible combinations or blends of those. Two of the types are more fast paced, they are energetic, enthusiastic doers who have an internal motor set on go.  Two of the personality types are more reserved and slower paced.  They are more laid back, tend to take their time and think things through carefully.  Another way to divide the four types is according to their focus.  Two of the personality types are more people focused.  They tend to be more social, interested in teamwork, communication and personal interaction.  Two of the personality types tend to be more task oriented.  They tend to be more focused on process, plans, program, guidelines and accomplishment of the goal.  Which one describes you?  If you knew which one described the important people in your life (children, spouse, co-worker, boss etc) would it make a difference?  I think it would be pretty worthwhile...

I recently spent four days at the Personality Insights Institute learning about the DISC personality assessment and how to use it to help people understand the major relationships in their lives.  It is an amazing tool  yet easy to understand and explain to others.  Dr. Rohm, the founder of Personality Insights, has been in the field for over twenty years and he began teaching others after discovering what a difference it made in understanding his family relationships.  He is an engaging and passionate speaker and the four days literally flew by. Not only has this seminar changed the way I think about communication, it has given me a desire to share the information or pay it forward so to speak by incorporating it into all the teaching I do.  So far, I have taught five parenting classes using the information I received through this training.  What was the response of the parents?  "It was really worthwhile!"

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