Corporate America's Communication Style

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010

I had a great opportunity this month to go to a three day workshop on Communication through Collaboration by Learning Tree, a company that provides training to several corporations. In the mist of training project managers, software engineers, and web developers, just to name a few, there are also courses on assisting in employee communication enhancement. I was so happy that my place of employment paid for this course as I am very interested in people to people interactions.

What I learned was so helpful that I will share my notes with you. There was so much information that I will share the most important aspect with you. I can see this being very helpful not just at work but of course with our spouse. You knew that was where I was going with this whole thing right? So there are four communication styles and if you understand each one you will be able to effectively fill the gap towards better communication.

1. Analyzer-Data and facts driven, communicates precisely, needs time to process.
2. Affiliator- Enthusiastic and motivated. Likes to pull everyone together, likes interaction, feeling focused.
3. Conceptualizer- Focuses on concepts, theories and ideas, innovative, wants to know the why's, "Ivory Tower thinking".
4. Implementer- Very direct, lets get it done, action and results oriented.

Analyzers find it hard to make decisions as they need time to process data.
Affiliators emotions can be a hindrance ex. they do not like to be left out.
Conceptualizers although involved in their work/project can miss what is happening with everyone else around them.
Implementers are so driven they can miss important details in not taking time to review.

Now how does this work in marriage? Some seem pretty obvious. But I was applying these concepts of communication styles in scenarios and this is what I came up with:
If you live with an an Analyzer, they need time to process what you're saying to them and much patience is needed. They have to be ready on their own terms which is a great sign of respect for them. Affiliators, like myself, need to feel needed and cared for. It is important to speak on a thought and especially heart felt level for them to even listen to you as they need to feel and know you hear them. Conceptualizers should be encouraged to say what they think. Allow them to be in their natural element by asking for their input. Their ideas need to be respected even if you may disagree. Follow up on how they think both of you can reach the common goal or end result together. With an Implementer they do not need or like details. They like to hear possible solutions to the problem. They get great peace from not having too much information to process. They like life to have a nice flow and are intellectually stimulated.

Now the four styles are not exact descriptions as our group was told throughout the course and my descriptions for the styles in marriage is just my take on application in marrige. If you could add more insight that would be great and you are more than welcomed. Until next time.


The Famous Question

>> Monday, March 22, 2010

Did I marry the right person? At some time or another either one or both spouse have entertained this question. I can't tell you how many couples I have heard insinuate or openly asked this question. Or it can be camouflaged in this statement, "Maybe we are not meant to be together". I made a post on something similar some time in December on "Destiny or Choice".

I spoke to my father the other day who is married to a woman who is not my mother. I grew up with her and my dad during some summers and she was nice to me. Yet in my mind my mother was the perfect complement for him. He chose her, who I respectfully call my aunt, for many great reasons. But honestly my mom is a Goddess. It's only now that I am married that I have stopped wrestling with the question of how they did not end up together. She is with someone else who I used to think, "How in the world, did they end up together". Again, now that I am married I see things differently.

I was in love with someone that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. He was just perfect for me. He was attentive, gentle, kind, a great speaker, intelligent, very funny, the list goes on. We were best of friends like peas and carrots, butter and popcorn, ying and yang .... I have no idea what happened. My unknown husband was around at that time and I would have never guessed that he would be the one. He was quieter, lacked humor, into computers (a geek), overdressed but he was kind. I still look back and say how did this all happen and we had children?

This is the Destiny/Choosing question. In healthy relationships (meaning not under the influence, drug abuse, mental illness, or unclear judgment) we choose until we chose who we are destined for. Even if you think this may not be the person for you. I made a mistake. In a healthy relationship "The powers that be" would not have let you marry the person. As you didn't marry many people you thought you should have been married to. Even when you marry young. I would not include arranged marriages unless the couple has an agreement in choice.

So you are who you're with because they really are meant for you. It's only through the hard times do we second guess. So while you have them, realize that of all the people you thought or think you should be with, this one is for you. A partner to which you are to grow together, to which you stated, through the good and bad, riches and poverty, health and is for the brave not the faint at heart and no matter how long the bad times, there are just as long good times, and one thing I am sure of like I know my name; the good times always come.


Thoughts on Suicide

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

The day before yesterday, I was on my way to work when there were several announcements that there was congestion on the 2,3, and 1 trains, from 72nd street to 181st street. When I finally reached my stop I heard a man had jumped onto the tracks when the train was coming. Several years before I saw a dead body hanging from the tracks above the street as I was on my way to work. He had just jumped onto the track about 10 to 15 minutes before many passengers arrived. Yesterday a college student from Cornell at Ithaca committed suicide and there were a series of jumpers from NYC in the 90's. I can't help to think that was someone's husband, that was someones father and child.

According to 2005 nationwide report, more Men then Women are known to commit suicide. More Whites than Nonwhites are known to commit suicide. Black Women have the smallest percentile for suicide attempts. On AOL news, there is a high rate of suicide among divorced men. They suggest marriage and remarrying adds a protective factor.

Some warning signs are lost interests, Feeling trapped with no solutions, abuse of drugs and alcohol, withdrawing from family and friends, Feelings of anger, extreme sadness or extreme happiness and impassivity, Lack of sleep or oversleeping, undereating or overeating, giving away meaningful objects, Feelings of guilt, talking or writing about death, and behaving recklessly. Clusters of a few or more of these behaviors are signs for suicide and immediate help should be provided. For teenagers divorce, bullying, death of a parent alcohol/drug abuse and relationship breakup are all triggers to suicidal thoughts (ideation).

Suicidal thoughts or ideation is the first of the process to attempt. This is if the person is has thoughts of suicide. The next step is Suicidal intent. This is when a person has an action plan for how they want to carry out the plan for the third step, Suicidal attempt. Here a large percentage of those who attempt suicide succeed. In both cases 911 should be called in the the first step of suicide and in immediate danger. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be used for yourself of a friend/family member; 800-273-talk. NSPL also has a website with additional information to answer any questions you may have.

I felt this was important to discuss as loved ones go out into the world from their haven of home and are harassed and inundated with lay offs for significant amounts of time, death of loved ones, stress of being in a new community, meeting performance levels at work, acceptance through drinking, being turned down for jobs, heavy conflict with partner, pursuing educational endeavors, no access to leisure time, negative past experiences, etc. A misconception is that spouses do not have suicidal thoughts. This is not true. Being married helps but anyone can have suicidal thoughts especially with compacted negative life experiences. We sometimes forget to give hugs, kisses and ears generously, we forget that we are personal cheerleaders and fans for our spouse. When it's time to pay bills it can be difficult to stay patient near the long stretch. We can be involved with our own section of life that our world drowns out our spouse and children's wants and needs. The pace of life is in momentum and it can be difficult to stop and refocus time and energy on those we love. We can sometimes miss school trips and shows because making money is an absolute necessity. Why don't we provide support to our spouse on their terms and not when we think they should get over it and/or move on, which seems cruel only when someone else behaves this way. I don't mean to be critical but to get us thinking critically about meeting the needs of those we love. As THIS is the time to truly express it.


Candid Conversation

>> Monday, March 15, 2010

I had this dream that my husband found himself a girlfriend in the new place, where we moved. In real life I have had much anxiety about moving to a new state which we have decided on. We plan on moving late this summer and I have had a few dreams now as the move is getting closer. And why in the dream is the other woman everything you desire to be? Now I am so aware of broken relationships. My neighbor's husband has practically become a rock star for the type of job he just received. I just saw a show on tv about a man who moved up in the judicial system and became extremely popular. What do they all have in common? They get a sense of power and as Tiger woods said, he felt he was above the "moral law". These examples have shown time and time again that with much success the human moral becomes frail and flexible. I am sure this happens with women as well but not as exposed as the male counterpart.

One wife on tv stated she did not want to know what her husband was doing as she was afraid. This brings me to my first point. There is no question that is untouchable to ask! This is your life we are talking about. If asked respectfully and with love, even humor, one should be able to ask any tough question. It really is better to know than live in a fearful, paranoid bubble, that includes when you have children. Having children should not decrease your need to know something, that you're afraid your spouse will say. Ex's. Are you still in love with me? Do I satisfy you? Are you cheating on me? Have you ever had a homosexual thought? Do you had a hard time with gabbling, saying no to a drink, or pornography online? You are a spouse to help them in their struggles but you are also human as they are human. It is your right as a partner in a bond of "oneness" to have answers to these types of questions. This brings me to my second point. I am the most jealous person by nature. I cannot put up with any hint or trails of female friendships, calling or texting. I have grown in this area believe me and I am still a long way off. Whether you are like me in this area or not, I learned a long time ago from my friend Denise to have a que se ra attitude. Not literally, I do not care, but (how do I find the words for this...) This attitude of I am confident. I am hot. There are people who would love to be married to me. You could tell me I am leaving you today and with tears say "o.k.", pick up and make good on my own. I believe this confidence can help. It keeps them drawn to us as there is mystery there and they like that. There is a relationship book on men being hunters by nature. It suggests that the wife always have a little mystery to keep their men hunting.

My last point comes from when I woke up from the dream. I immediately thought. If my husband is going to leave me. I would fight. There is nothing more pitiful than to hear anyone cry stating don't leave me! (In reality this is what I might do, maybe 5% of me:) But I picture myself letting him know I miss him and laughing having a good time with him as if I was the mistress. That's why I think men leave; power, status, needing to hunt and missing fun and good times. Then I realized I do not have to wait until I am divorced, just go ahead and continue laughing with them, being playful, giving surprises, sometimes in their jacket pocket, continuing to call his small office as his girlfriend making sure his "wife" is not there. (We all have our thing and you have yours too).

Well this has been cathartic for me. Thanks for listening. I have come to the conclusion that moving is not so scary after all. Besides, I'm the one he dreams of ;)


The 6 Factors

>> Friday, March 05, 2010

My co-worker brought up a very good point yesterday that led me to a similar concept that I had been thinking of for some time. He was explaining what it is like being married to someone very different than him in character. He was trying to find the right words for both temperament (innate development) and character differences (learned behavior). Both can prevent a couple from seeing eye to eye, experiencing connectivity and/or being at the same level of communication.

Every couple makes attempts to connect to each other on so many different levels. Usually the most common is breaking through the barrier of differences as male/female. There are so many books written on the Mars/Venus concept. Being different from your spouse is not just about making attempts to connect as husband and wife. There are so many other aspects at play. How many of us have relatives of the same sex and we find it difficult to get along with them. There is a clear role as family but find it difficult at times to bond. So It's not just about the gender of the person being opposite to us.

Gender differences,Temperament and Characteristic of a person are three factors but there are more barriers to marital bliss. Culture is another factor. In the stage of courtship, your love is so strong for the other person, no one can hinder you from even considering the effects of culture on you beautiful relationship. If anything, just a slight mention of anything perceived as negative by an outside person or loved one and that person is shunned. It is not until well into the relationship does one become sober about each individual differences in culture. Ex. "this is how my culture or parents saw raising the children." "This is how I think the situation should be handled." "Just because your parents did it that way does not mean it is set it in stone." "Growing up, this is how we did things, it is my custom." These examples may not sound too intense until the realization of your methods being in complete opposition.

The forth is factor is Age or Birth order. They are not the same but similar. Age has similar barriers as Culture but Birth Order adds another dynamic. This is where my coworker was trying to explain his interactions between him and his wife. Birth Order in relation to how one grows up can cause the most friction between you and your spouse. If he is the oldest child, there is a certain role you step into; sometimes gradually and sometimes at once, as was with my coworker. His wife is younger and is the youngest of her siblings (I believe). It appears everything was made easy for her as she did not have too much responsibilities. Together they have separate ideas for how things should be done for their family. Birth order as the fourth factors, shape your personality.

The fifth factor for preventing closeness and connectivity in ones marriage is Intimacy in the bedroom. Men and women should not be generalized on sexual behavior. Your spouse is an individual and is different than any other man or woman. Your spouse should not have to read your mind to know what you like. It is true that you will discover more likes as you continue perfecting this area of your life. But even then your spouse should be made aware of it.

The last factor is Spirituality. There should be something you stand for and believe in. You should also be open and respectful to your spouse for what they believe in as well. This is another topic we toss under the rug because we are soooo in luv. Then when you get married you had no idea how important this topic is. This should always be covered in some sort of "talk" even before the engagement. It should go along with health status, any abuse, prior marriages, past habits, etc. This is solely my opinion based on hundreds of couples I have encountered. There should be no surprises when one is married. Especially when you have to work through the factors I have just presented.

The 6 factors can be worked through. They definitely make life interesting. Some, you will perfect and some you will probably continue working on them as though you are making no progress. It will take a lot of sacrificing and giving in before things get better. This includes your spouse as well. Anger will even fly in sparks and maybe even flames for the friction that some of these will cause. We will discuss them over the rest of this Month. I will even put in some sited research for those of you who want to see more than just opinion. Feel free to share yours.


Na Wa Ti Natiye

>> Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I have seen the movie Avatar three times now. I keep finding a reason to take someone who has not seen it but really wants to go. I thought this was going to be a horrendous movie. I was floored at how good it was. I loved the development of the relationship. Now your probably thinking where is she going with this. Stay with me for a minute.

I recently went to a mini seminar where the prestigious speaker was telling an interesting story of her travels abroad. Turns out many South African greetings literally translate to, "I see you". As in the movie its meaning is literal but for the South Africans it is not just I see you but I acknowledge you and everything you represent. This is totally unlike a New York greeting. That's if you get a greeting or even eye contact. For the movie Avatar the Navi's greeting was respectful to the elders and to the relationship, it was intimate. The words are a sign of respect and can be used to say to your mate, I see through you, almost on a soul level, or I know you as no one else.

After seeing the movie with my spouse for the first time I had this strong desire to try out those three little words. What's the most that could happen? He could have laughed at me and I probably would have laughed back at the corniness of the moment. So I gave it a try. Right before bed, I looked into his eyes for a few moments and said softly, "I see you". Then he reciprocated, "I see you" with the most passionate kiss. Now I have to learn it in his language and he will really be impressed.

Wouldn't it be great if every language used "I see you" with an understanding to friends, respect for parents, endearment for children and a combination of meanings with your partner. What if these three words spread from South Africa to the rest of the world. It would look like this:

English: I see you
Afrikans: Ek Sien jy
French: Je te vois
Creole: Mwen we'
Irish: Fe'ach me' tu'
Sweedish: Jag ser dig
Spanish: Te veo
Danish: Jeg kanse dig
Filipino: Makita ko sa inyo

and in closing, to you,
Navi: Na wa ti natiye