Do you want a better nights sleep? What if I told you that it is possible to know the most effective way to reach another person, and with a little effort or attention to the core values in yourself and in others, you could dramatically improve the quality of the relationships in your life…and your sleep! Would you believe me?

Now, if you are married, think about your spouse.  If you have kids, think about the littles in your life.  Maybe you would like to see improvement with that co-worker or neighbor that drives you nuts; or you would welcome some hope into the dynamic tensions with your in-law’s or siblings. You fill in the blank.  The truth is, it doesn’t take much thought to realize that we, and everyone around us, are all wired differently. The ironic thing is though that, we instinctually keep thinking everyone processes the same they way we do!  We are all moving down the tracks of life, but each of us take different approaches linked to our hard-wired nature to get to where we want to go.  Taking a little time to connect to the good science on the differences in hard-wiring can improve all your relationships.  It is true! 

To help bring clarity to a sweeping generalization like this, let’s look at a single category like communication styles.  Even the way we communicate validates our hard-wired differences. For example:

THE AMOUNT WE ACTUALLY TALK reflects the fact that some like to use their words freely while others prefer to speak with as few words as possible.

HOW WE PREFER TO TALK, either from a to-the-point style or from a highly-detailed approach, can be vastly diverse.

All this may sound fairly obvious until you drill it down into action in the “the deep-end of the pool”.  In our counseling and consulting practices we utilize an instrument called, “The Core Values Index (CVI),” that is remarkably accurate with a 94% reliability in identifying how we, and those around us, are hard-wired from birth.  The CVI differs from any “personality tests” out there. This is because “personality” is something we put on and is influenced by external factors such as environment, family dynamics, life choices, culture, etc…  On the contrary, the CVI gets beneath those factors and helps us in our quest to get a more accurate understanding of who we really are, and why we value the things we do at a motivational level.  It also helps us truly understand this reality in others.

You might ask, “How can this help me?”.  Well, one of the things our clients resonate with the most from the CVI, are the vast insights, particularly around communication.  For example, we all know people that love to talk.  They seemingly have an endless capacity for it, and are known for coming up with their best ideas (or solutions to their own problems) while they are literally talking out-loud. Think of a person who verbally processes like this (male or female, of any age) and how do you think you can honor this quality better in your relationship with them?  Suddenly you go from a “well, that’s just John” perspective, to a “I’m realizing that John feels valued when I engage him with clarifying questions and simply listen”.  The wisdom from the CVI would speak to “John” as having a higher Merchant. For Merchants, talking and listening are like oxygen, as they deeply need it to be healthy and feel known, or they struggle making sense of their world and feeling alone.

What about the person in your life that’s been a good problem-solver for you, or that you admire for having the ability to hold the complexities and nuances in your life and circumstances?  Maybe you can more readily identify someone who isn’t necessarily this for you, but seems to be a go-to source for a lot of other people in their world.  Do you have someone in mind?  The CVI would say these are Innovator-types and they are actually hard-wired with the gift of assessing and finding solutions.  For an Innovator, communicating out-load is a distraction and they need time to think in their head before they use their words. Innovators are naturals at seeing the root of any problem and are determined to find the best solutions (not just any solution) for most issues that come their way, but they do that solving in their heads. Innovators make incredible contributions to our world that help us save time and produce efficient solutions all around us.  That said, and depending on your own core values, the Innovators in your life can feel annoyingly slow at taking action. We call this the “paralysis by analysis” as they hold out to find the best solutions. They may even put up a fight when nudged to move too quickly towards action and results without time to discover the right solution.  Sound familiar?

If so, consider reframing this person’s “annoying process” from a core values standpoint.  If you are a person who is more wired for quicker action and results, but still has enough wisdom to want to do things right the first time, why not approach the Innovators in your life at the outset of your planning to get closer to the best solutions from the very start?  When you ask an Innovator to get their mind on a problem or a goal you have, giving them time to think it through, chances are you will be much happier you reached out to them in the end. Innovators are more likely to come up with a variety of options you would have never thought of on your own and are beneficial to all.

The CVI highlights two other types of hard-wirings that prefer to communicate in radically different ways: Bankers and Builders.  Stay tuned for more insights in my next post where I will breakdown ways you can honor the Bankers and Builders in your life to radically improve the quality of your relationships. In the mean time, find a Merchant you can listen to or an Innovator you can ask to solve a problem and watch those relationships shift in a positive direction. Relationships are what keeps people up at night and that is why a tool like the CVI can give you a better night sleep.

Jeff Mattson is the Co-Owner & Founder of Living Wholehearted, LLC where he serves as an Organization Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach