Oh – So THAT’S Why They Do That!!


I am continually amazed at how – and how much – the misunderstanding of individual style differences derails projects, relationships, teams, and communication between people. It’s as if the list is endless.

Are You Conscious of Your Conditioning?

While this seems elementary, we are not taught what our conditioned preferences are. I go out of my way to explain this to young people, empowering them with this advantage as they enter the workforce.

This conflict happens at ALL levels and in ALL contexts – from the C-Suite to individual contributors, to volunteers, to intimate relationships. It’s time to use the gas pedal and brake pedal of conditioning consciously.

A Simple Shift, A Powerful Invitation

I am going to be short here, as this is a simple shift—

Instead of: “Why can’t you do it MY way!?”

Shift to: “So THAT’S why they do that!! What can I learn from them?”

The powerful invitation is to be conscious of our style preferences and the way they impact how we relate and collaborate. Style differences come into play regarding how we get things done, and also how we relate on a very tactical level. 

Values + Strengths =  What  we prefer to do; Style Preferences =  How  we prefer to do it; What + How = Impact, contribution, and fulfillment

When we find that we are not working well with someone at a tactical level, the chances are that our styles are clashing – especially if we find we are struggling in conversations.

Enter Diagnostic Tools and Frameworks…

Most people get caught up with the science and validity behind diagnostic tools. Science and validity are VERY important – and necessary – however, you can take any framework and apply it to your direct experience.

For example, we all learn differently. Some of us are kinesthetic learners (who learn by doing), some are visual learners (they learn by seeing), and other people are auditory learners (they learn by listening and lectures).

Now, imagine you are collaborating on a project, and you are a visual learner working with someone who is an auditory learner. While they will want to chat about the project, you will want to see it – and you can see where I’m headed here…

With some basic conscious awareness, we can optimize for style differences rather than create drama – this is yet another opportunity to wake up and relate skillfully. For descriptions of basic style preferences, read Chapter 15 of my book, Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age.

My book Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age is your handbook on awareness and preventing drama. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 15, Style Differences:

“One of the ways we create conflict with each other is we don’t try to understand how other people’s style preferences differ from ours. Instead of understanding and appreciating them, we complain because people aren’t “doing it the way that I want.”

No style preference is better than any other. We each have our preferences, our preferred way of how we like to get things done. We default to our preferences. You have probably heard about the importance of being in your strengths. Playing to your strengths is essential. Similarly, as I mentioned, aligning with your values is equally important.” ~Abigail Stason, Evolution Revolution.