When You’re a Contemplator Communicating with a Narrator

You both like to take your time, contemplate facts, and look at possible problems. However, while you approach potential problems as warnings, the narrator sees them as engineering challenges. This can be frustrating, since the narrator keeps trying to fix things that, for you, are more expressions of uncertainty and worry as you work towards finding the ideal course. Narrators also enjoy perfection, but they’re completely happy to readjust reality to achieve it.

When you’re working well together, you can conquer obstacles and transform a mediocre plan into a great one. However, you both like to take your time and work through every possible option, so you may need a big-picture person on call to help you keep your conversations on target.

Quick Tips for Contemplator-Narrator Conversations

  • DO try to keep you both focused on the present, not past mistakes or future strategies.
  • DO use praise as a motivator.
  • DO set a deadline for a decision so that you both have to reach a conclusion.
  • DO expect them to see the problems you highlight as puzzles to solve.
  • DON’T criticize or make personal attacks. Negativity can make a narrator shut down.

When Contemplators and Narrators Communicate Well, Solutions Happen

When you need to communicate with a narrator, it’s important to think before you speak. Negative and accusatory language won’t motivate a narrator. Instead, they respond by putting up walls and withdrawing from a perceived confrontation. To keep narrators engaged and interested, focus on the problem to be solved, not attacks on people.

You may have the tendency to list the negatives of a potential action as a way to show that it’s not a workable option. Be careful. A narrator will take that list of negatives as a challenge, and try to engineer solutions to each of them. Because narrators value consensus, you’ll reach an agreement more quickly if you just state your preference, rather than if you try to convince them that your way is the only right way.

You both love facts and research, so when you approach a problem together you’re likely to enrich and deepen each other’s understanding of the issues. Narrators are especially strong at planning and strategic thinking, which can be especially helpful when you’re dealing with the financial concerns of aging.

When the two of you see the same problems and are willing to work through them, a contemplator and a narrator can become an extraordinarily strong team. Your one weakness will be a tendency to focus on details and lose sight of the larger problem. To keep the big picture in mind, consider setting a deadline or bringing in a third party to help you remember the ultimate goal of your discussions.

Learn more about communicating with a narrator here.