Archives: April 2011

PsychoGeometrics: Social Media Shaping Up

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PsychoGeometrics: Social Media Shaping UpFace-to-face communication is tricky business, but when you’re standing toe-to-toe with someone, chances are their physical presence, facial expressions, actions, and tone of voice reinforce the true meaning behind their words. With the written word, the reader is at a disadvantage. The words carry all the weight—or do they?

The Social Media platform that a person selects to relay a message is a clue to their communication style. When you consider the 4 major social media platforms (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) and cross-reference that with the 4 major communication styles (Squares, Triangles, Circles, Squiggles), you get a few clues to understanding.

Triangles are fast-paced project people. They’re driven by accomplishment and the need to get things done—quickly! They love to delegate but are sketchy with details. The 140 character limit makes Twitter an excellent tool for Triangles. In addition, Triangles thrive on leadership and recognition so they’ll have a strong presence on Linkedin. Triangles are quick to embrace new technologies once they understand the benefits to the bottom-line. But Triangles are slow to switch from email to social media not wanting to tackle the learning curve until absolutely necessary. Once they make the leap, though, they expect you will too.

Squiggles are fast-paced people people. They are independent thinkers and visionaries. They thrive on crafting, creating, and developing. They’re emotional and spontaneous—and a perfect match for the real-time audience of Twitter. Squiggles are animated and theatrical so YouTube offers unlimited possibilities as well. They’ll maintain a limited profile on Linkedin for professional reasons but will gravitate toward Facebook for lengthier conversations.

Circles will find their Squiggle friends on Facebook and probably spend the majority of time interacting with other Circles—also on Facebook. Circles are slower-paced people people. They are dedicated team players tapped in to the grape vine. They nurture those around them by investing their time. In addition to Facebook, you’ll find them on YouTube. Linkedin won’t provide the social stimulation they’re looking for—too professional, but a smaller social network, Flickr for example, provides in-depth relationships.

Squares, the slower-paced project people, will take the time to learn the social media platforms but see little reason to use them away from work. Squares will have a strong profile on Linkedin but not spend much time interacting. They might use Twitter to relay short burst of info to a team member but prefer email where their correspondence is private (relatively) and allow for lengthy explanations. They appreciate the teaching/training role of YouTube and will spend time educating themselves.

As the social media platforms continue to evolve, the Triangles and Squiggles will adapt quickly. Circles and Squares will join hesitantly but enjoy the camaraderie and ease of operation that only social media can bring.

If you’re new to this information, you must visit Dr. Susan Dellinger’s site. The lights went on the day I heard her  explain the different communication styles and their corresponding shapes. Things made a bit more sense; people made a lot more sense. I had a tool which helped explain why people said and did what they did. It explained human behavior to me in the most elementary of mediums: shapes. I’ve used this theory, psycho-geometrics, every day of my life since. Learn it from my textbook mentor, Dr. Susan Dellinger.

PsychoGeometrics: Please Pass the Ketchup

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PsychoGeometrics: Please Pass the Ketchup

There are 4 communication styles: Squares, Triangles, Circles, and Squiggles. There is a transitional shape, the Rectangle, that complicates the mix, but basically Rectangles are people in transition—a new job or a new relationship, for example. But those Rectangles, for the most part, take on the communication qualities of one of the other four shapes: Squares, Triangles, Circles, or Squiggles.

Want some Ketchup with those Fries?

So let’s say the four shapes are out to lunch together. They all have hamburgers with French fries and they all like ketchup on their fries. Here’s how the scene takes shape:

The Square (the Box actually, because no one likes to be called Square)… The Box will pick-up the ketchup bottle and begin a step-by-step process, thinking to themselves (you will NOT hear this dialogue out loud), “I’d really like ketchup on my fries.”

Step 1: uncap the bottle by twisting the lid with just the proper amount of torqueage,

Step 2: hold the bottle at a 45% angle,

Step 3: apply the correct amount of pressure to the sweet spot and tap the bottle with an even distribution of pressure,

Step 4: wait patiently for ketchup to fall easily and precisely on desired spot,

Step 5: recap the bottle,

Step 6: recall history lesson—“ketchup was invented in 1801 by Sandy Addison whose recipe was later printed in an American cookbook, the Sugar House Book. REMEMBER, YOU WILL NOT HEAR ANY OF THIS INTERNAL DIALOGUE. BOXES WILL BE THINKING THIS TO THEMSELVES.

Triangles will quickly and emphatically be the first to grab the ketchup bottle and BANG on the bottom until the ketchup comes out. OR, they could just point to someone and say, “YOU–pour me ketchup.”

A Circle will take the ketchup bottle and exclaim loudly, “Oh, I LOVE ketchup on my fries.” They will then talk you through the application process, “But I hate how long it takes. Don’t you?” They’ll tap the bottle and keep talking, “It takes FOREVER to get the ketchup out. When I was a little girl…”(insert long story here that involves a brother/sister or family member). Once a Circle has ketchup, they will offer ketchup to those around them, “Would you like ketchup? How about you, ketchup? Does anyone need ketchup?” They’ll make sure the table is cared for.

The Squiggle will grab a French frie, consider the ketchup bottle, but then scoop a fry-full of ketchup off your plate! OR they might just ask for mustard.

When ordering burgers and fries, think twice about setting your Boxes and Squiggles side-by-side. 😉

PsychoGeometrics: Communication Styles

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Psycho-Geometrics: Communication Styles

     The first time I listened to PsychoGeometrics by Dr. Susan Dellinger, the lights went on and the bells went off. Dr. Dellinger, using the geometric shapes of squares, circles, rectangles, triangles, and squiggles, simplified communication for me forever. I understood I was a squiggle—and that explained so much! PsychoGeometrics categorized my behaviors and justified them. When others—not like me–criticized the way I spoke or interacted, I only understood I did it differently then they did. I didn’t know my behaviors and actions were a particular “style,” and that there were many others like me!

     Let me break it down for you. (And then you really have to check out the PsychoGeometrics website.)

If I were to line the 5 shapes up on the wall, point to the wall across the room and say, “Okay, friends, get to that wall,” here’s what would happen:

     The Rectangle, often in a transitional state due to personal upheaval, would  adapt. A Rectangle will evolve into and react like one of the other 4 shapes: triangle, square, circle, or squiggle.

     The Triangle, the fast-paced project person, will race across the room and reach the wall first. They’ll check their watch and wonder what is taking the other shapes so long to cross the room. The Triangle will wait impatiently for a short time before they’re on to their next task.

     The Circle, the slower-paced people person, will unite the team: “Let’s all take hands and cross the room together. Does anyone need a cup of coffee or a light jacket?” The Circle encourages and takes care of each member of their group. Don’t mistake them for gossips; they are open-hearted and kind and great on a team.

     The Squiggle, the fast-paced people person, will simply disappear. They’ll eventually end up across the room and on the wall, but they’ll have finished a task or two, and might even have started another on the way. The Squiggle is optimistic, agreeable, and a big picture thinker.

     The Square is the last shape to leave the wall. The Square, as a matter of fact, doesn’t have enough information yet to leave the wall. They have questions: at what time should they cross the room and arrive on the other wall? At what point precisely should the stand? How should they get there? Is there a procedure or system in place for crossing the room? The Square needs additional information and time to apply strategic thinking and logic.

     When the task is simple—cross the room and get to the opposite wall—the communication styles of the 5 shapes are evident. Those styles are just as obvious in the working world, and it’s easy to know who you’re talking to when you know what behaviors to look for.

     Check back for more PsychoGeometrics and how it applies to the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace, and You Tube.