At a recent seminar a participant asked me, "In the real world how is there time for all this blending communication stuff?" This is an interesting question. I didn't realize I was not living in the real world. Perhaps I made one too many Star Trek references during my program and he figured I was living in the 24th century, in a Star Trek universe where human beings communicate and cooperate for everyone's greater good. I made a mental note to reduce the Star Trek references.

However my first response to him was that he must be realistic about how much time good communication takes.  By not taking the right amount of time to communicate he was creating difficult behaviors. Once he invests time in his communication with others, he’ll see his relationships work better.

My second response was to point out that blending doesn't have to be a lengthy process. The key is blending with the right stuff. It's what I call precision blending.

Here are a few tips on how to do precision blending with some difficult behaviors.

When a Tank is attacking, you should blend with their desire to make something happen fast. Anything that gives them the feeling the situation is under control and there is forward progress will blend with them and get them to back off.

When people engage in Know it All behavior you have to blend with their ego and the reasons they think what they think. Validate how much they know, find out what is important to them, and show them how your idea satisfies all their criteria.

When people act like Think They Know it Alls (meaning they don't really know), you will also blend with their ego but give them an opportunity to go along with your idea.

If people are being agreeable, but you don't know where they really stand, your dealing with Yes/Maybe/Nothing behaviors. Your blending is aimed at having them feel safe and secure and that no matter what they tell you, nothing will change in your relationship to them.

When people are Whining or Negative, they are feeling helpless and hopeless respectively. Your communication should be aimed at getting them to be specific and then to think solutions.

Always remember that good communication isn't about lots of time, but rather about being precise. Live long and prosper. ;-)

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