Don't Misinterpret Momentum
by Alex Charfen
We all have a story or two about a time when we were misunderstood or misinterpreted. It happens to all of us, regardless of age, race, background, or income.
We can be misinterpreted for a variety of reasons, but for Entrepreneurial Personality Types (EPTs), it is often linked to how we express momentum.
EPTs are momentum-based beings – meaning they have a mental, physical, and chemical response to momentum or the sensation of moving forward. EPTs also have negative reactions to constraint, or anything hindering their ability to move forward. Limitations of any kind adversely affect their emotional state and their understanding of where they fit in the world.
I've often been misinterpreted as angry when I wasn't feeling angry at all. I was simply conveying something important to me in a firm and direct tone. Just because I'm being blunt or raise my voice a few decibels doesn't mean I'm in a rage. In fact, it probably means I'm in momentum – passionately moving a project forward.
When you're an entrepreneur, you get intimately familiar with being misinterpreted. It's a common experience that comes with moving fast, and that's why it's so important for us to refrain from judging the momentum of others. If we want to do away with misguided interpretations, we have to show the way.
Lead By Example
As you run your business and grow your team, you'll notice people don't always express themselves clearly. Team members may strike you as being disconnected or unengaged with their work. But forewarning…These assumptions are dangerous.
As the leader, it's your responsibility to proactively ask about an employee's momentum, not guess it. When you blindly interpret someone else's momentum, you risk misinterpreting it. And that's a position you do not want to put yourself in.
As entrepreneurs, we know the feeling of being misinterpreted better than most. We understand how frustrating and infuriating it is. We know that when people make assumptions about our behavior, it only amplifies the negativity we may be feeling. This is precisely why we – of all people – can't be guilty of this behavior.
Ask for Transparency
What you think someone is feeling doesn't matter. What matters is what they're actually feeling, and the only way to discern that is through active engagement. In other words, just ask.
When you ask, rather than interpret someone's momentum, ambiguity disappears – and so does any unnecessary conflict.
Practicing transparent communication is the key to great relationships within your leadership team, high productivity amongst your employees, and monumental success for your business.
If this blog resonated with you, I encourage you to grab a free copy of my book, The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. This book will not only help you understand yourself better, but it will also serve as your guide to the most important and misunderstood people among us.