When You’re a Demonstrator Communicating with a Narrator

You both hate drama and love consensus-building. You love to brainstorm, they excel at problem solving. It should be an easy partnership, but there’s one huge problem. A narrator will not be rushed, while you love to jump right to the solution.

To work well with a narrator you need to be able to slow down, take time to listen, and both ask and answer probing questions. The great thing is, this new way of communicating won’t just strengthen your ability to work with a narrator—you can use it in all aspects of your life to improve your communication skills everywhere.

Quick Tips for Demonstrator-Narrator Conversations

  • DO slow down and give the narrator time to process information.
  • DO approach negatives as problems to be solved rather than avoided.
  • DO listen to their preferred options and then express yours, so you can both work towards a consensus.
  • DO come prepared with facts and research. Narrators like to know where you got your information.
  • DON’T forget to set a timeline for a decision. Narrators love research, and without a deadline will never leave the ‘research phase’ of decision making.

When a Demonstrator Works with a Narrator, Take it Slowly

In some ways, you’re the perfect match. You both get along well with people, shun arguments, and tend to take a positive outlook. You’re loyal and friendly. But when it comes to solving problems and making decisions, your natural communication styles can be at odds. You move between ideas quickly, picking one up, dropping another. You prefer to reach a solution by trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn’t, then moving on.

Meanwhile, the narrator would rather move slowly and think strategically. They deal with objections or roadblocks by fixing them. And they’re willing to take the time to come up with the perfect fix. Give them that time. If you rush a narrator, they just withdraw and refuse to go anywhere. So give them the time to play tortoise to your hare. They’ll reach a consensus with you, but you probably leaped to it. Now you need to wait for their slow and steady decision-making process to catch up.

When you’re stating problems or working towards solutions, don’t pepper the narrator with one idea after another. Take a break and give them time to absorb what you’re saying and think about it. It may help if you keep a notepad handy while you talk. When your brain runs ahead of where you’re at in the conversation, jot down your thoughts to mention to the narrator later.

Finally, set a deadline for a decision. You don’t need it, but your narrator does. Without a deadline, researching problems and crafting strategy will take over, and a narrator may get ‘stuck’ at this point in the decision-making process. A deadline and some encouraging words can help keep the narrator progressing towards the ultimate goal.

Learn more about communicating with a narrator here.