Crisis = panic, right?

When it comes to toilet paper apparently so, but it doesn’t have to.

To help people get through these tough times, keep stress low and reduce arguments with our family, friends and colleagues, we’ll be posting some free and helpful tips regularly for those looking to make the most of their time at home and learn something useful along the way.

This weeks’ tip is about learning to speak someone else’s language.

First of all, I’d like you to think about how you respond in a crisis…

Do you panic?

Or do you get frustrated with those who are panicking?

Do you figure ‘she’ll be right’ and let the rest sort it out?

Or do you jump into action immediately and start organising everything?

As you know us human beings are all a little different from each other (and that’s a good thing – if we were all the same life would be boring, right?)

Because of this though, we all react to crisis situations differently.

This often leads to frustration, arguments, break-ups, company disputes, political debates and worse.

But the thing is, our differences don’t have to be a bad thing.

What if, instead of panicking or getting frustrated, we learnt to understand our differences, work together and start to speak each other’s ‘language’?

Now when I say ‘speak each other’s language’ here I don’t just mean French or English, what I mean is that we all have different / preferred styles of communicating with each other, four different styles to be precise.

Think of them as like four different languages.

We call them the four coloured DOTS = Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue DOTS.

You have a fraction of all four DOTS within you, but you are more dominant in one of the DOTS than the other three.

So there is one communication style (one DOT) that you use most of the time when speaking to people. It comes natural to you, so you use it most of the time.

For example:

If you’re dominant in Purple DOT you’re more likely to talk, rather than listen.

If you’re dominant in Yellow DOT you process words into complex pictures inside your head in order to interpret what someone is saying.

If you’re dominant in Red DOT you won’t talk much, but when you do it will be in short sharp bursts (like bullet points).

If you’re dominant in Blue DOT you’ll talk more only if you feel comfortable with the person you’re speaking to.

As you can see, each DOT style is quite unique, so when it comes to connecting the dots to communicate successfully in a crisis, it’s quite important to understand where people are coming from (what their preferred communication style is) and how to speak ‘their language’.

How can you do this?

  1. Fit your own mask first
    What makes you tick? What is your communication style (your DOTS) and how does that colour all of your conversations with the people around you?
  2. Identify their DOTS
    What is their preferred communication style? You can learn to do this in less than 60 seconds of meeting them by paying attention to the way they’re dressed, certain words they use etc.
  3. Speak their language
    Address their needs, avoid pushing their buttons, and speak to them the way they want to be spoken to.

This is a valuable life skill to learn and something not enough people have.

So to help, here are some useful tips on how to connect with all four dots to communicate successfully in a crisis…

Purple DOTS often take the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude and will just wing it. They figure everything’s fine (until it’s not), and when it’s not, then they’ll deal with it. They’re future-focused people so they’re often ten steps ahead anyway and have already sorted what they need before they need it.

Need to plan ahead for what to do in a crisis? Get a Purple DOT involved!

Yellow DOTS are always super organised and have been planning for this their entire lives! They know where everything is, they have everything in order and if things go pear-shaped, they have the policies and procedures to let everyone know exactly what to do. They’re not happy their plans have been changed but they’ve done their research on what to do (and believe me, it’s thorough!).

Need to get things organised in a crisis? Get a Yellow DOT involved!

Red DOTS often want to step up and tell others what to do. They’re practical, hands-on, and just want to get stuff done (without all the fuss). They’re already coming up with a plan B in case they need it. They’ll set the rules they expect others to follow (if they would just listen!) and figure it’s not a drama or an issue until proven otherwise with facts.

Need factual data with a clear and practical approach in a crisis? Get a Red DOT involved!

Blue DOTS always focus on comfort and well-being. Is everyone ok? Does anyone need help? They’re already reaching out to those they care about so that they’re looked after and getting organised to make sure they have everything they need to be safe and comfortable.

Need a caring human being approach in a crisis? Get a Blue DOT involved!

If you’ve found this helpful, this is just the beginning.

If you’d like to know more about how to get yourself, your family or your staff up-skilled in tools of effective communication, send us a message to find out how we can help. Or take our free short quiz to find out what DOT you might be.

We have great online training options available for those unable to travel.

Otherwise keep checking back each week for more handy tips here on our website.

Stay safe everyone!

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