Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Have you ever been so upset or dissatisfied with a service, that you promised you would never buy anything from that organization again?
Or maybe you had a bad experience traveling to a specific city, country, attending a specific event, or trying a new food, and again, vowing never to do that again?!
I have made this “forever vow” many times, but as I have learned the value of the five Shapes, and the specific behavior that each of the five Shapes represent within the PsychoGeometrics® Communication System, I have especially learned the value of the Rectangle, keeping an open mind, because of or in spite of, my experiences, or my opinion in general.
Author Leo Buscaglia once said,
“Don’t allow past experience to harden your heart. Rather learn from it and become more aware and sensitive.”
I might also add, “and become wiser and smarter because of it.”
Furthermore, life reminds me that what you want at 20 may be different at 30, or 40, or 50, and so on. So, what you say you will never want to do at 40 might look like something you would actually like to do at 55.
An Open Mind
An open mind doesn’t mean you have an empty mind, but if you close your mind, you will close yourself off from continuous learning and growing, and as a result you will miss out on many opportunities to experience new things, meet new people, and discover things that lead to other things that significantly impact your world and overall success.
Understanding the transitional shape of the Rectangle has taught me that it’s better not to use the words, “always” and “never.”
Instead of saying, "Yes," "No," “I will,” “I won’t,” “I will always,” or “I will never again,” right off the bat, try saying, “Tell me more.” Or, "I think I need to gather some more information or have an opportunity to think about it, before I respond."
This doesn’t make you weak. In fact, according to studies conducted over the past 20 years by Hite Resources, Inc., this makes you strong and respected by your peers and bosses as a professional. Away from work, it can also make you a good friend, partner, or family member in that you wait to learn more before you respond, showing consideration for others or missing information.
A Professional Example from Coaching
I once did a lot of work for a company who asked each of its employees, "Are you willing to relocate?" Some of my coaching clients revealed to me that they checked the box "No."
Did you know that if you check the box "No" you may very well be wiped off the succession plan? My advice is check the box "Yes." You never know where you may be in your life when such an opportunity may arise. Besides, you can always say "yes" or "no" later, after getting a little more information.
I remember one of my clients who was looking for work. She got a call from a recruiter, who had an amazing opportunity in Atlanta, which was also an 8-hour drive away from her current home. She immediately told the recruiter, "No, I don't want to relocate."
When she told me about it, and asked me what I thought, I said I thought she should have said, "Tell me more." Everything is negotiable. Don't close a door before you even walk inside and check things out.
Here are possible scenarios:
1. You go to Atlanta for the interview, and it's a mutual "love fest." Although they wanted the new hire to relocate, they would entertain the option of working remotely, as long as the person would travel to Atlanta twice a month for meetings.
2. You go to Atlanta for the interview, and it's a mutual "love fest." But the position does require relocation, and it's just not the right time for you and your family to move. They understand, but also tell you they have a sister-location near you that could be a good fit, something you would have never known if you had not been open enough to interview. Or maybe, they are so impressed with you, that they refer you to someone who is looking for someone like you in your own hometown. Or maybe the person interviewing you leaves that particular company just a few months after interviewing you. She moves to your current location and begins work at new company, only to remember what a great interview you were, recruiting you to work for her new company that is in your "own backyard."
3. You go to Atlanta for the interview, and it's not a match. You know it, and they know it. But it gives you clarity as to what you want to do and what you don't want to do. Plus, you are out of a job. Why not go and explore?
This is the value of the Rectangle. You shift your mindset to neutral, to an open-state, to the idea of exploring.
Just because you explore your options doesn't mean you are forced to choose an option.
Instead, you may explore your options and determine that where you are is where you want to be. You may go to an interview, but even if you are offered the job, it doesn't mean you have to say "Yes."
This Rectangle is the key to personal development and professional growth. It is what helps you get still, without going stale. The power of the pause is indeed powerful.
A Personal Example from Traveling
Quite a few years ago, I remember going to the airport to board my direct flight to Orlando, where I would be speaking at an event later that day. Upon arrival, I was informed that my fight was cancelled, but that a different airline could accommodate me.
My first thought was not, “Tell me more.” Not an ounce of Rectangle in me!
Instead, my first thought was Triangular, “I don’t want to fly that airline. I don’t like that airline.” My response was based on my dislike for change and not being in control.
I had heard about this other airline. Unlike my favorite and go-to airline, they had an informal boarding process, no guarantee of where you would sit or who would sit by you, even if you were traveling with a friend, family member, or business associate. Reluctantly, I boarded this airline, because I had no other choice if I didn’t want to miss my meeting.
I remember thinking, as I boarded in what I would describe as utter chaos, “I will never fly this airline again!” I only reinforced this thought when the airline attendant started making jokes about needing oxygen during the flight in case of turbulence or problems.
In most cases, plane passengers are instructed that if oxygen is needed you first place the oxygen mask on your own face, then if traveling with a child, for example, place the mask on your child. Again, sounds counterintuitive. Wouldn’t I help my child first, then myself? But no, the rationale is that if you aren’t breathing, you can’t help anyone else breathe either.
Ok, I can accept that. But on this particular flight, I distinctly remember the airline attendant saying, “If you are traveling with a child, place the mask on your own face first, then your child, and if you are traveling with more than one child, now would be a really good time to pick your favorite!”
As those around me laughed, I thought to myself, “That is not funny! Never will I fly this airline again!”
Funny thing, though, as the flight went on, I found myself actually enjoying the casual, friendly, light, and fun atmosphere, including the song that was sung by the airline attendant, announcing our arrival and wishing us all a good stay in Orlando. We were also right on time, made it safely, and I made it to my event in time.
I wound up becoming a Frequent Flyer on that airline, as it became one of my top-two choices when I needed air travel. I would have “never” been open to flying another airline if I had not been forced to make that change in the moment.
And, so it is with life. Broaden your options, broaden your experiences, and embrace change, the Rectangle, as the gateway to growth.
Your Shape influences the way you respond to change.
Every Shape responds differently to change. But the one thing all Shapes have in common is that as long as you are changing, you are growing; you are alive. But if stop changing, you will stop growing, eventually becoming stale and stagnant.
Whether you are a primary Box, Triangle, Circle, or Squiggle, you can learn how to Shape Flex and use the temporary, transitional Shape of the Rectangle to say, "Tell me more."
Rarely, do any of the primary Shapes (Box, Triangle, Circle, or Squiggle) say, "Tell me more." Instead, you tend to respond to change with your natural primary and/or secondary Shape. For example:
When presented with an opportunity, the Box will most likely base its decision on track record and facts. The Box would say, "Is this logical, practical, or proven?" If not, the answer is no.
The Triangle will probably base it's decision on status, or the opportunity to have more control or more power. The Triangle would say, "If I can't be in control, or if it doesn't come with a promotion, I am not interested."
The Circle will make its decision based on how others feel, what others think, and/or the impact on family, friends, or colleagues. The Circle would say, "I am not sure that would be good for my family, friends, or colleagues," or "I can't do that - what would people think!"
The Squiggle would totally shut the door if the opportunity didn't appear to be unique, exciting, or fun. The Squiggle would say, "That sounds boring to me...uh...no, no thank you!"
Obviously if the change were the opposite, it may cause each Shape to say yes.
Box - This is the practical thing to do. Yes.
Triangle - This is the next step to advance in the organization. Yes.
Circle - I know my family would love to live there. Yes.
Squiggle - How exciting does that sound?! Yes.
The Rectangle causes you to pause, considering each of the other Shapes, and keeps you growing, relevant, vibrant, and “alive!”
Questions to think about:
1. What’s your natural Shape?
2. How do you naturally respond to change?
3. Are you growing and learning, or are you stale and going stagnant?
4. Is there anything in your life you would like to change? Anything you would like to explore?
Remember exploring doesn't mean you have to commit. It just means you can discover options. Options provide the freedom to choose. Having options means you get to decide. Having options puts you in control, because of or in spite of, what's going on around you. In other words, the Rectangle helps you be the champion, not the victim.
Discover your Shapes and how you can grow, stay healthy and fresh, and unlock your exciting future with the Rectangle.
Take the Shapes Assessment™ and use the access code: shapetalk and save 20%.
NOTE: Susan Hite is the President of Hite Resources, Inc. since 2001 and is the creator and founder of Susan’s Train Your Brain Series™ 7 principles for living a more peaceful, balanced, and productive life.
About 20 years ago, Susan was introduced to a communication tool called PsychoGeometrics®. Susan wanted to learn more, becoming a licensed and certified Subject Matter Expert of PsychoGeometrics, and sharing how to use PsychoGeometrics to strengthen communication with hundreds of companies and thousands of people from more than 60 countries worldwide.
In June of 2020, Susan bought the PsychoGeometrics company, featuring five Shapes, representing five different behaviors that are used to link behavior to results.