Many interpersonal misunderstandings originate in parties not having the same goal of the discussion. I do not wish to go into detail of which underlying psychological motivation e.g. ego that drives these goals, but it is certainly noticeable that if two people do not have exactly the same goal, at least one party will inevitably be disappointed by the outcome.

The four goals are

  1. Agreeing.
  2. Winning.
  3. Truth.
  4. Ignorance.

The last, ignorance, is not a goal per se, rather it reflects a non-caring attitude.

Now, it should be fairly obvious what will happen when any of the 10(=4+3+2+1) different combinations happen in face-to-face encounters. It could even be expanded upon to meetings and conferences of several people. What is more interesting is how each type deals with his own decisions. I know as a “truth”-type that I carry an internal dialogue at all times never being particularly pro nor con. I suspect a winning-type carries a lot more certitude, is less flexible, and more permanent, in other words, a winning-type will not grow. An agreeable type will not grow by himself but could be pulled along, especially by a winning-type. An person who doesn’t care is unlikely to be moved by anything and provides the constant or reference point of the system.

Originally posted 2009-03-01 21:57:25.