Level 2 – Language domain

You thought you spoke English. And you do. But you also speak in:

  • Power
  • Affect
  • Meaning

This is one of the core reasons why people often exclaim things like: “Do you not speak English or something?!? You are just soooo not getting it!”

To get your head around this: which of the following questions speaks to you the strongest? Imagine that you are confronted with a high stakes situation.

  1. a) What can we do? (gut: power)
  2. b) How does this feel? (heart: affect)
  3. c) What does this mean? (head: meaning)

A few examples…

Your boss is oriented towards power. You are more oriented towards meaning. You are working on a project and in the middle of writing a report about it. Your boss walks in and says:

“You done with that report yet?”

“Nope, not really. I have done some market research. The data look promising for the new product. But I need some more time to analyze them and write my conclusions.”

“That’s not what I was asking. When is it done?”

“Well… eur… I guess I could deliver on it in about two days.”

“Geez…sometimes you are just way too academic!”

And walks out the door, leaving you feeling bad.

You are in a committed relationship. You are oriented towards affect. Your partner is meaning oriented. You start a conversation.

“This is hard for me. I feel really sad and confused. Lately, I have been feeling that you take me for granted.”

“I don’t understand what you mean?”

“I’ve been feeling really neglected. You are never there, and when you are there, you never share anything you feel with me.”

“That is objectively NOT true! We had this discussion two months ago. After that, I cut back on my evening engagements by 50%. And I made a serious effort to tell you more about what I am working on and thinking about!”

“You are so insensitive!”

And you flick the light switch and turn your back on your partner.

What do you think your preferred language is?

This post is the third part of a group of five. The earlier ones are the two preceding ones in the timeline.

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