Why do we find it so easy to connect with some people and yet can really struggle with others? by Kerry Lockyer

photo credit : TEDx Warrington

Why can it seem effortless to work with some individuals, yet with others it can feel like such hard work?

It’s likely to be something as simple as our behavioural preferences.  We naturally find it easier to connect with people who are like us and can find it more difficult dealing with our opposite types. Being able to understand and recognise these, firstly in ourselves and then in others, can be transformational.

Becoming fascinated, rather than frustrated and embracing our cognitive differences was the subject of my TEDx talk in June 2022.

I first experienced the magic of behavioural profiling about 20 years ago.  Everything about my relationships with others suddenly made more sense.  It also blew apart that phrase that I’d heard so often “treat others how you want to be treated”.  

Whilst it’s said with such positive intent, it’s fundamentally flawed.  Being able to treat others how THEY want to be treated is much more effective as a means of developing deeper connections and working effectively.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of individuals and teams over the last 20 or so years and the difference it makes when they understand each other’s strengths, preferences and ways of working is amazing!

The lightbulb moments when people recognise that’s why :-

  • Someone requests more info or time before they make their decision
  • Someone jumps in with their thoughts and pushes for action
  • Someone wants to consult others and ensure everyone’s views are considered
  • Someone focuses on future opportunities rather than practical steps for the current situation

None of these are necessarily right or wrong for any given situation, but it’s worth appreciating that they are usually driven from our behavioural preferences.

Being able to recognise and value these difference too why we behave in a certain way

So how does this work?

There are many great behavioural profiling tools available and most are based on the work of a Swiss Psychologist called Carl Gustav Jung whose work on Psychological Types underpins them.  It’s useful to appreciate how these three sets of psychological preferences (below) influence the colour model, which can be seen in figure 1

  • How you take in information (Sensing vs Intuition)
  • How you make your decisions (Thinking vs Feeling)
  • How you respond to situations (Introverted vs Extraverted)

Some use letters or words to describe certain behavioural traits, but as a licensed Insights Practitioner and accredited Clariy4D Business Partner, I love to use the language of colour as I believe it’s memorable and very easy to understand.

These tools typically involve answering a questionnaire, which generates a detailed personal profile and is always very insightful! The profiles are usually explained in depth during a workshop and then provide a detailed personal development resource for the individual thereafter.

This type of activity works brilliantly with teams to help them to understand more about each other, to celebrate and leverage their individual and team strengths and to identify and highlight any blind spots or gaps.

Below is the Clarity4D Colour model (figure 1)

And some examples of some of the profiles that can be produced (figure 2)

Personal Profile                                                                                                 2D Report (similar to 360 feedback)

Team DyNAmics Report

Kerry Lockyer is an award-winning, CIPD qualified learning and development expert with over 25 years’ experience of delivering exceptional results in a variety of public and private sector organisations.

She’s a Licensed Insights Practitioner, Accredited Clarity4D Business Partner and an NLP Practitioner.

She is the Founding Director of Oomph Learning and Development Ltd, based in Cheshire and is also currently the Vice President of the Professional Speaking Association (NW Region). 

She loves connecting, so feel free to get in touch through the details below, or connect with her on LinkedIn using this QR code.

Email : Kerry@oomphlearning.co.uk

Mobile : +44 7970 407581