Knowing I-E-S Dominance Helps Communication

This weekend my MIL came for a visit, and I realized how much of an “S-dominant” she is (versus being I-dominant or E-dominant).  What is I-E-S dominance you wonder?  In the world of the Hartman Value Profile, your dominance, as determined by your values, is the predominant filtering lens that we all use to view ourselves in the world.  [This is just a small slice of the larger world of HVP, to focus on for this post.]

To I-dominants, the world is viewed through the filter of themselves; they know their place in the world and recognize their purpose in being here.  An E-dominant views the world through the work that they perform, which is most important.   Think Mother Theresa, Einstein, Hitler and all the other driven-by-their-work-beyond-reason people.  Dr. Paul Farmer of Mountains Beyond Mountains fame comes quickly to mind.  Absolutely driven, but at what price, the I-dominants wonder?

 And an S-dominant views the world itself as primary, the world outside of themselves.  Everything is viewed through this filter.  It was so very obvious with my mother-in-law as she took a shower and dried off with a small hand towel, so as not to dirty a big towel (!).  She offered to sit in the back seat with 3 of us in the car, when she is 82 and I am 57.  She didn’t ask for a second serving even when there was plenty of food (but did accept seconds, but needed be offered, in order to accept).  She never thinks she looks good when photographed, although everyone else looks fine.  She was not invited to her only daughter’s small 2nd wedding in the same town, but genuinely did not take offense or feel slighted.

So  how do you communicate best with an S-dominant?  Once the trait is recognized – which is easy to do when you are looking for it – the first step is to self-acknowledge that not only is their world view different, but that it’s OK to hold that view, and it’s not necessarily wrong.  (My I-dominant self is screaming inside my head, “What do you MEAN she didn’t invite you to her wedding?  How is that possibly OK?”).

The next step is to take their perspective (hard to do when you have a lifetime of a different dominance) and view the world from their filter in your interaction with them, if you really care for them and want to deepen the relationship.

The final step is to structure your interaction to fit their filter.  Know that she won’t help herself to anything of yours and so offer her specific options that you want her to enjoy.  (“Please sit in the front”. And to others: “Please don’t ask her to do that, because she doesn’t know how to say no”)  We have a distinct problem in this country with S-dominant elderly people who are prone to being scammed, coupled with a pervasive lack of respect for the mature generation.

COMMUNICATION TAKEAWAY We filter our interaction with the world using a distinct dominance, that varies in degree with each person.  To truly communicate well, an awareness of these styles  and how they affect a person’s outlook, is helpful to reframe the interaction to accommodate their perspective.

QUESTION:  How can the S-dominant elderly, true innocents, be better protected from scammers? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

28,211 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>