It was time to finally tackle the long-awaited basement project and put some fresh paint on those dingy cinder-block walls. Like a horse chomping at the bit, I was ready to get rolling. No pun intended! So I nagged and prodded my husband right down the stairs to get on with the massive job before the day disappeared. And then it started. The deliberations. The questioning. The surmising. The sudden need to plan out the details.
I stood there stunned. Frustrated. Totally ready to implode.
We’ve been talking about this painting job for weeks, if not months. I organized the date, time, paint colors, supplies, and even entertainment for the children, along with the mission to get it all accomplished within a 24-hour window. My husband knew about all of this and fully supported the project, so why, now — when we should be painting — were we discussing the prep steps and working a method for the job?
We are wired differently, and those differences lead to conflicts.
I am a visionary who sees the need, the project, and the solution. He’s the detail guy who is truly gifted at getting the job done well, from start to finish. Just not on my timetable. I’m the one that will get it done alright, but likely creating more little fix-it problems in the process. And he’s the one that will faithfully, humbly, and amusingly fix all the problems I cause in my impulsive insistence to meet the goal, yesterday.
That basement fiasco ranked pretty high on the scale of marital conflicts because back we didn’t have a sense of how our God-given wiring was affecting our approach to the project. I thought my husband was being difficult, even though I was desperately trying to remain calm and assume the best of him. My insecurities rose up inside of me, as I struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Did he think I wasn’t capable of doing this job? Was my way simply not good enough? No, not at all. To my husband’s credit, he was reasonably defensive with me because he could see in my approach the potential problems and wanted to avoid them. It was his natural wiring colliding with mine at an unfortunate time.
We may equally love Jesus and share dozens of similar core values, but we are wired differently.
Our differences attract us to each other. But those differences can also become our greatest source of conflict.
When You Know Your Wiring, You Can Work With It
Discovering our personalities is a great way to pursue the biblical command to live in peace with each other if at all possible (Hebrews 12:14 NIV). Through identifying our God-given personality and how the various personalities work in our relationships, we can move from a place of frustration to understanding. We can back off “our way” and leave room for others to approach life differently.
We each have a unique personality as well as role to play in the body of Christ through using our spiritual gifts.
Our learning style is also often a reflection of our God-given personality. Through understanding learning styles, we can slow down and approach every relationship with a desire to help others hear us clearly and respond to them thoughtfully.
There are dozens of reasons to invest time in identifying our wiring, but the main reason we ought to discover our wiring is to be more effective in the body of Christ.
Under the headship of Christ, we are many members designed to work together (1 Corinthians 12). There are many ways to go about identifying personalities, spiritual gifts, and learning styles. I’m partial to the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) assessment, not only because I’m an HAB consultant, but because I’ve seen the benefits of the results in my personal experience as well as with my clients.
The HAB reveals personality style, relationship style, learning style, giftings, and driving abilities. It’s amazing how one assessment can provide so much insight pertaining to our whole life — because the same way we operate at home is all evidenced at work and in our relationships. We don’t compartmentalize as much as we think we do. So why not use an assessment that reveals a comprehensive, whole-person approach?
Whole Person Approach with Highlands
- 16 Personalities based on the JUNG Test: http://www.16personalities.com/
- Explanation of MBTI Results: https://www.cpp.com/products/mbti/index.aspx
- Descriptions of Personalities: http://www.truity.com/view/types
- JUNG Test: http://similarminds.com/jung_word.html
- Visual of JUNG Results: https://www.cpp.com/contents/type-heads.aspx
- DISC Test: http://www.123test.com/disc-personality-test/
- Wired that Way (Print Version Only)
Embrace Your Wiring, Embrace the Blessing
Once you have the results of your assessments, then it is time to embrace the way you’re wired. And that process is directly impacted by your relationships and responsibilities. For example, are you an introvert in an extroverted job married to an extrovert? If so, can you find ways to withdraw and refuel, so that you can continue to be fully engaged at work in and with your spouse? Are you a big idea, vision-slinging soul in relationships with those who are super practical? How can you “couch” your dreams with a mention of reality so they don’t shoot you down in your first breath? Are you a methodical person working with an abstract thinker? How can you invite them to spell out the steps for you?
We don’t have to forsake our wiring to connect better with others, but we do have to understand how our wiring is received and how to respond to those who are different than us.
Processing through our assessments results is a process, so give yourself grace as you learn the beauty of your wiring and how to appreciate those who get to do life with.
If you would like help processing the results of your assessments, book a free consultation appointment to discuss how life coaching benefit you in this personal growth journey.