Although my main interest in using assessment tools falls in the realm of understanding oneself, improving communication is another reason to embrace the information that the MBTI provides.

The basis of successful communication is rapport. Rapport occurs naturally when you feel in sync with another. We have all experienced those times when you can complete another’s thoughts and you just know that this person is “with” you. You can also see the rapport between others in social situations when people are turned toward each other heads titled at the same angle. While rapport occurs naturally when you feel that someone is “like” you are,  it can also be helped along when you notice that you are out of sync.

At these times when you don’t have rapport the first thing to do is STOP trying to communicate the content of your message and get the alignment of rapport established. Without it the person is unlikely to hear you.

Here’s where you can consciously work with what you know about the MBTI. I have to admit that this is not my strong suit but I know that it is very helpful; for example, my husband has a preference for Sensing and my typical ENFP conversational style takes the kind of leaps that people with a preference for Intuition often make. When I notice that he has “gone to the beach” in his head because of my style I can focus on completing my story without all of my fascinating (to me) detours.

Shawn Bakker of Psychometrics Canada has a terrific article with tips to look for to recognize another’s MBTI preferences. You can use these signals to understand how to reestablish rapport if your style doesn’t match the other person’s preferred communication style. As an example Shawn points out that the person with a preference for Introversion may have a quieter voice. The Extravert can consider then adopting a quieter tone than they might use otherwise.

How you say things matters as much as what you say.

I’ll bet you have some conversational pet peeves – Love to hear what they are !!!!

Category: Communication
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