Connected Communication: Why can’t they be more like me?

Don’t you just love it when you are communicating to others and they get it? We want a communication “easy button” because we know it’s challenging to communicate with people different than us. We think it’s easier to work with people who are like us. Surprise! Sometimes it can be just as difficult and even less productive to communicate with people who are like us. 

In this blog series we have been talking about the four different communication styles: Problem Solvers, Bridge Builders, Strategic Thinkers and Compassionate Connectors. Now let’s dive into this new challenge >> Connecting with people who are like us.

Communicators With The Same Style

We need people who make it easy to connect. They fuel our energy as well as give us a “breather” in this tough exercise of communication. However, when we try to get stuff done those similarities that felt so good, turn into stepping on each other’s toes, over focusing on the same thing or missing critical pieces to execute well.

Strategic Thinkers with Strategic Thinkers

When working together they speak the language of big picture goals and will not hesitate to raise questions and challenge each other’s thinking. Strategic Thinkers tend not to notice the tension they create in others as they debate or discuss. They leave meetings focused on the goal, but often miss details or may neglect the relational impact of their decisions. When working together, Strategic Thinkers often move on to the next lofty goal without reaching the first one.

Bridge Builders with Bridge Builders

When working together they engage in ideas and planning. Bridge Builders are seekers of meaning and purpose in what they do. Relational investment is critical in the process and they often quickly become friends. Meetings are energizing for Bridge Builders when sharing ideas that inspire action, but they may skip over the boring, detailed analysis part of the process. 

Problem Solvers with Problem Solvers

Problem Solvers are energized in interactions with other Problem Solvers. Their analytical brains join forces and they quickly sort through the clutter, find the right solutions, and take action. Ta-da, problem solved! Except when it’s not. Problem Solvers think even faster when together. Others struggle to keep up or offer input. The opportunity for shared ownership can be missed. 

Compassionate Connectors with Compassionate Connectors

Compassionate Connectors quickly build rapport when they come together. They demonstrate genuine care and concern for each other personally and professionally. Relationship tension may surface between Compassionate Connectors when they prioritize differently the multitude of needs they see. They can get caught in the bustle of “need-meeting” and miss the bigger picture or root cause of the problem.

What’s Next?

What energy do you draw in communicating with people like you? What challenges have you experienced because of these similarities? When communicating with someone who is like you, ask a few questions to get you thinking outside your natural style >>

  • What are we missing?
  • Who else do we need to involve to gain a broader perspective?
  • What would _____________ (name a person you know) say about this?

Comment below on questions you ask to explore different angles when working with people who are like you?

Wondering what your communication style might be? Download my Communication Style Assessment. Join me in my next blog to explore communicating with complementary communication styles with communicators have both some similarities and some differences.


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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center for Coaching Excellence.

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