How to Hear What a Person Needs in their Interactions with You: Blend with Need-Style
One of the many insights that will help you to use your influence to change your world is blending. Today we’ll go more into how to blend with need-style.
The Key is Behavior, Not Personality
In a previous post about recognizing communication needs here, I promised to share a model for quickly hearing what a person needs in their interactions with you. It is not based on personality types. It is based on behavior, and because behavior changes, you are required to keep paying attention in order to notice those changes.
There are four styles in particular that reflect four communication needs. You can blend with these styles in order to speak to these four needs.
To recognize a person’s need-style, you’ve got to notice what they talk about and how directly they talk about it.
Task focus. Sometimes, people talk more about what they’re doing. That means they are focused on a task, whether the task is discussing an idea, making a decision, resolving a dispute or achieving an objective. We’ll call that a “task focus”.
People focus. Sometimes, people talk more about the people around them, or their feelings in a given situation. We’ll call that a “people focus”.
A person focused more on a task than on people may pay more attention to the end result of the task than the details they encounter along the way. Or, they may pay more attention to the details of the task than to the end result. You can notice this in the way they talk. A person focused more on people than on a task may express more interest in the opinions and feelings of others, or in their own opinions and feelings.
4 Communication Needs
1) Need for Action: When a person is focused on the end result of an interaction or an idea, he has a communication need for action. She needs you to speak directly and actively. She needs to hear movement in a direction in the way you talk.
2.) Need for Accuracy: When a person is focused on the details of an interaction or an idea, she has a communication need for accuracy. She needs to hear that you are paying attention to the details in the way you talk.
3.) Need for Approval: when a person is focused more on what others think and say than on her own thoughts and feelings, she has a need for approval. She needs to hear that you also have a concern for the thoughts and feelings of others in the way you talk.
4.) Need for Appreciation. When a person is focused more on her own thoughts and feelings than the thoughts and feelings of others, she has a need for appreciation. She needs to hear that you appreciate her in the way you talk.
These needs, action, accuracy, approval and appreciation, get communicated through the style or structure by which a person speaks. And there are indicators (when you notice them) that allow you to speak to the need.
On Monday, we will talk about how you can speak to the need.
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.