This tool will help you fix your communication issues
By Alice Clarke
If you’ve been at a Catch The Fire church for any length of time, you might have heard one of these phrases:
Oh my heart! I’m such a Responder!
Let’s get these Shapers together and get a plan going.
He is so full of vision and new ideas. What a Mover!
She’s such an Influencer, she could get me excited to clean out garbage cans!
These people are all talking about the Kendall LIFE Languages Profile. Most groups of people can be guilty of jargon, and when it comes to Life Languages, Catch The Fire is no exception.
So many CTF-ers talk about Life Languages because of the way it’s changed their understanding of themselves, their family relationships and their work dynamics.
If you’re stuck in the dark when someone talks about being a Contemplator, Doer, or Producer, here’s what you need to know:
A basic breakdown
There are seven Life Languages, and we all speak them in some way. These languages can be broken down into three categories:
Thinking- Contemplator, Shaper, Producer
Feeling - Responder, Influencer
Action - Mover, Doer
You find out what Life Languages you speak best by taking a test at www.lifelanguages.com.
You’re then given a profile, detailing your top languages, how well you speak them, and other aspects of your character profile.
It’s about communication and character
Communication is complicated. Life Languages is a tool that helps you navigate the stormy seas of communication by understanding yourself and other people way better.
How Life Languages helps you grow personally
Lots of personality profiles are about putting people in a box, but this is where Life Languages is different.
The idea is that your profile will actually change over time. It’s about helping you to see and value your strengths, but also where you can change. You’ll start to see gaps in your relational skills and how you can fix them.
I recently redid my test and discovered that my Mover is crazy low, at two percent! With the help of Life Languages expert Jenni Sandford-Nedoszytko, I’ve been asking God to help me grow as a Mover, particularly in having more vision for my life and the roles I have.
Why it’s useful in team
Have you ever confronted a coworker and found it went horribly? Even when you tried to be kind, straightforward, and honest? Did it feel like they were communicating on a totally different wavelength to you, misunderstanding everything you said?
Well, that’s where Life Languages helps. At Catch The Fire Toronto, all of the staff have taken the Life Languages profile, and have access to each other’s results.
Jonatas Rogato, director of Events and Production at Catch The Fire Toronto, gave an example of how this works for him in the office:
“After the last Life Languages seminar we did, I realized how useful it can be in confrontation. I had a conflict with someone in a different department, so before I spoke to them I looked up their profile, their motivations and passions. I found out that the person I was talking to is a Responder Shaper.
“I literally walked in ready to speak their language so they felt loved and connected. It was probably the easiest, most clear communication we’ve had. It made me realise my lack of trying to speak other people’s languages.”
Don’t just do the profile
Life Languages coaches lead training days all around the world to help bring your profile from paper to life. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions, get real-life examples, and better insight into communicating the best way you can.
These coaches also offer in-depth sessions one on one, in teams, and for couples.
At the last Life Languages training day I attended, I even heard some Catch The Fire Toronto veterans saying they had their ideas about relating and Life Languages totally changed but hearing about it again.
How has Life Languages changed your life?