When You’re a Narrator Communicating with a Narrator

There will be no conflict in this communication pair, but you may fall prey to inaction and uncertainty. You both love to research, develop strategies, troubleshoot possible paths, and build consensus. However, when two narrators get together, there’s no one to push them towards a decision. It’s easy to get so caught up in the research phase of the process that you never actually reach your goal.

To help a narrator loved one make decisions about complicated issues, you’re going to need to step out of your natural communication role and stretch yourself in new directions. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the trap of endless discussion with no real decisions made.

Quick Tips for Narrator-Narrator Conversations

  • DO embrace the power of checklists to keep yourselves on track.
  • DO set a deadline for the decision so that you can move forward.
  • DO wait to engineer solutions until after you have chosen a path.
  • DO feel free to bring in a neutral third party to help you decide and to keep you on track.
  • DON’T neglect feelings when considering important life decisions. Facts and feelings both matter.

When Two Narrators Talk, It’s a Chance to Grow

You seldom come across a business, community group, or team made up of only narrators. That’s because you value consensus and servant-leadership, but function at your best when you’re judging and weighing inputs from all kinds of communicators. In a narrator-only environment, you may never reach a consensus because neither of you feels strongly and both of you want to gather more data. Plus, you’re both so easygoing that you feel that there’s no rush to decide. Narrators don’t like to be hasty about things.

In extreme cases, you may need to ask a neutral third party to keep your discussions on track. Otherwise, you can become so involved in solving the most interesting problem in front of you that you lose sight of the big picture and the original goal of the discussion. When you need to help a loved one make decisions related to aging, however, it doesn’t make sense to tackle a problem related to finance when you need to be discussing the side effects of a drug. Sometimes, you need help to focus on the immediate, and a third party can do that for you.

If you can’t ask for help, you’ll have to stretch yourself. Checklists and timers can be a great way to keep a discussion on track, hit all the key points, and make real progress toward a solution. If you treat the decision-making process itself as a problem to be engineered and solved, you’ll be able to reach a decision within a reasonable timeframe.

Finally, don’t reduce the final decision to one based solely on facts. With big life decisions, how you both feel can be as important as other realities on the ground. While taking refuge in a facts-only view can help avoid conflict in the short term, you’ll reach a better decision in the long term if you consider both facts and feelings, even when the feelings cause you some discomfort.

Learn more about communicating with a narrator here.