Is it true that opposites attract?
Yes and no.
Often we are attracted to character strengths that are opposite to our own perceived weaknesses. For example, an introverted person might be attracted to a more out-going person and vice-versa. But having different communication styles doesn’t mean that we don’t hold the same values and attitudes.
Rather than thinking in terms of opposites, it’s better to think about you and your partner as being complementary to each other.
Relationship experts agree that the “3 C’s” – communication, clarity and compromise – are necessary for any successful relationship.
This is not only true in marriage, but also with friendships and business relationships.
In a relationship-based business, such as – oh, I dunno, let’s say real estate – understanding how to modify your own style to communicate better with a different style is arguably the most important skill you can learn.
It’s doubly important and doubly complex because practically every day, we’re dealing with two people at once – the married couple – who rarely have the same communication style as each other! So, how is it possible to communicate effectively with two different communication styles at once?
Let’s say you’re doing a listing presentation to a couple. One is an expressive and one is an analytical (polar opposites). How do you deal with that situation?
Amateurs will present to the person they are the most comfortable with (the one with a communication style closest to their own). That’s a massive mistake. You may think, “At least I’ve got a 50/50 chance,” but that’s completely wrong.
You think only one of them is the decision-maker? Ha! Maybe in the 1950s.
Today, couples have to agree on important decisions. If they disagree, the answer is no.
An expert presents to a couple by switching styles, back and forth, throughout the presentation.
For example, with an expressive/analytical combo, you’d better sit down before the presentation and establish rapport with the expressive partner before you even start talking about market stats with the analytical partner.
“But Ted! If I switch back and forth throughout the presentation, won’t that interrupt the flow and slow things down?”
That’s amateur thinking. Couples have already learned to appreciate their different styles and to be patient with each other. Sure, maybe it takes a bit longer, but it’s WAY more important to make an impression on both partners than it is to burn through your presentation as fast as you can.
Yes, I’m talking to you, drivers. (Drivers are the most resistant to modifying their own style.)
By the way, I’ve never met a Realtor who didn’t believe themselves to be at least a borderline expert on this topic.
And yet, the only ones I’ve met who actually were experts are those who devoted considerable time to study, practice and develop their skills, specifically in this area. It’s no coincidence that these were also the most “naturally” successful agents I’ve met.
If you think you’re a natural at this, I can assure you, you are NOT. But it’s not hard to learn. Just make it a priority to learn more about communication styles. Take a course. Any course. Please!