Psst 3 secret tips for how to communicate with a Mountain Life Lens

Psst – hey you!  Do you have trouble communicating with people who have big ideas?  With your boss who drives you  nuts because she’s never specific?  With your colleague because he’s off on another tangent before you’ve nailed down the details of his first 10 tangents?

Welcome to a Carrot Life Lens™ trying to communicate with a Mountain Life Lens™.  I taught a workshop to a group of Human Resource practitioners last week where we did the Mountain/Carrot portion of the Life Lenses™ assessment.  After they’d assessed themselves I had them gather in a horseshoe shape, so each Lens would face each other.

When I asked the Carrot Life Lenses™ how we could get the most out of them one woman spoke up.  She went into great detail of how this could happen.  Great detail.  She was clear.  She was specific.

When I turned to the Mountain Life Lenses™ their eyes were glazed over, they were shifting in place and they looked pained.  She, a Carrot Life Lens™, had totally lost the Mountains.

If you find yourself in a similar situation here are 3 secret tips for how to cross-communicate, from a Carrot to Mountain:

  1. Prioritize and severely limit the details. Mountains don’t want to hear about your lovely (albeit detailed, specific) systems.  Keep it short.  Pick three things you want to communicate and stop there.  Stop.  Truly.  Stop.
  2. Be vague. Yep vague.  In your Carrot world details reign supreme however in Mountain’s world they only need the outline.  Don’t fill it in for them or you’ll loose them.
  3. Avoid your impulse to rescue. Carrots believe that mistakes wouldn’t happen if people made good plans.  Period.  Mountains are much more flexible.  Mistakes?  That word’s not prominent in a Mountain’s vocabulary.  Due to their broad outlook, they’re not only used to making what you’d call ‘mistakes’ but they’re (and here’s the kicker) very adept at getting around, over and through them.
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