When You’re a Narrator Communicating with a Demonstrator

You think like an engineer, methodically working through the problems in front of you in an orderly manner. Meanwhile, the demonstrator is like a stereotypical artist, brainstorming, jumping between threads and plans, and generally uninterested in boring details. However, you both thrive on consensus-building and have generally positive outlooks, so your conversations will be fairly free of conflict and drama.

If you can help the demonstrator come down to earth a little and can keep up with the flood of new ideas, analyzing and sorting as you go, the two of you can be a great problem-solving team.

Quick Tips for Narrator-Demonstrator Conversations

  • DO try to record a demonstrator’s ideas to work through later rather than trying to keep up with them as they appear.
  • DO have a general outline for the conversation prepared in advance, so you can steer them back to the topic when they go off on a tangent.
  • DO expect a fairly quick decision from the demonstrator once you explain options.
  • DO bring up obstacles and possible solutions at the same time, to keep the conversation positive.
  • DON’T provide so much structure that the demonstrator feels coerced and boxed in.

When a Narrator Meets a Demonstrator, A Happy Medium Is Key

You seek order and structure. They don’t want to be boxed in. You like to proceed methodically, with an eye towards strategy. They’re more spontaneous, tactical thinkers. When a narrator and a demonstrator team up, they can be unbeatable innovators, as long as they can find a happy medium between their preferences. Luckily, both types thrive on consensus, so your natural tendencies will help you strike a balance.

One of the most important places you’ll need balance is in creating structure for the conversation. Demonstrators are natural brainstormers. One of their most common phrases is, “Oh! I just thought of something!” That something may be related to the problem you’re working on, but it may be related to something you discussed a week ago, or something that you haven’t even addressed yet. Since you like to be methodical, dealing with each idea as it surfaces can derail any hope of a decision.

Instead, agree at the start to write these ideas down and to circle back to them at the end of the process, before the final decision. This will give you time to think about them and analyze them, but without dampening the demonstrator’s natural enthusiasm and imagination.

Like narrators, demonstrators thrive on the positive. They don’t like to be weighed down by large numbers of problems and objections. You can keep the discussion practical yet positive by mentioning each negative along with one or more possible solutions. “This apartment isn’t walking distance from your gym, but if you chose it you could learn to use a ride-sharing service or find a closer gym.” When a demonstrator weighs options, they weigh both the positives and the negatives, but a negative with an easy solution won’t hold them back from an almost-perfect solution.

Decision-making with demonstrators is often fairly quick and easy. They’re happy to tackle the problem so they can get on to the next big adventure. Once they’ve decided, they may count on you to work out the details, but that plays to your natural servant-leader strengths. As long as you keep them from feeling trapped or boxed in, you and the demonstrator should be able to work well together.

Learn more about communicating with a demonstrator here.