All people integrate, process, and communicate about their experiences in their own stepwise pattern. We each use a 3-step cyclic process that includes Feeling, Thinking and Acting. In this way, we each combine all the components of awareness and behavior and do them in a personalized order, selected from 7 options. We do our first step all the time, we do our second step sometimes, and our third step happens more quickly as we relax into finishing the cycle, and go back to the beginning to start again. We frequently overdo or underdo our second step, and this gets amplified by any Masks we have covering over our natural style of Communication.
People with Think First use their mind to be precise, focused, detailed, and specific and often focus on content. People with Feel First use their heart to be open, spacious, connecting, and focused more on context. People with Act First use their body, have a gut response and are direct, kinesthetic, and in motion while focused more on intent. People who express Thinking earlier tend to value truth over harmony, and those who express Feeling earlier tend to value harmony over truth (this can be substantially influenced by their Talents as well). People who express Action early on value movement and flow.
We can be trained to process in a different order than we naturally do or to overdo or underdo particular steps – these are all versions of Masks. Accepting our natural Communication process and moving towards Fluid Communication is facilitated by letting ourselves go through each of our steps fully, in order, without getting stuck, and then moving towards experiencing the cycle more quickly.
Two people with different patterns of Communication can learn to ease their interactions. It is important to acknowledge and follow their own order internally before communicating. When they get to their step that matches the other person’s first step, then it is time to share. If person A is speaking to person B, who is Feel First, person A ought to process in their natural order internally and then share their feelings with person B. Person A will feel better understood, person B will feel met, and both can better relax into the interaction. Similarly, person B will process internally and then share to match the first step of person A. Growing one’s capacity to do this consciously (not out of a Masking expectation of what “should” happen first) also speeds one towards Fluid Communication.
We frequently judge different styles of Communication in our society. People who Think before Acting often judge those who don’t as impulsive. Also, people with Feel Act Think and Act Feel Think Communication (both have Think after Act), particularly if they also have Artisan Talent, can be mis-labeled as ADHD, which is a distinctly different phenomenon.
We each have 1 of these 7 Communication processes. They are listed below approximately in the order of most to least prevalent in the United States:
Think Feel Act
Think Feel Act people want to know the purpose of an interaction up front. They share thoughts easily and feel privately, tending to only share their feelings when safe. They get congruent with both thinking and feeling before taking action.
Feel Think Act
Feel Think Act people connect first, feel their way into the big picture, and speak in generalities. Often they share feelings easily and wait to “think it through” before sharing thoughts. They get congruent with both feeling and thinking before taking action.
Feel Act Think
Feel Act Think people feel into the big picture, realize what they want and may or may not take time to communicate about it. They leap into action, then afterwards think and learn from the experience for the next time. They protect their freedom to act so they can do something if and when they are ready. Society and many people judge this order as impulsive.
Think Feel Act
Think Act Feel people focus, plan, and often do share their thoughts, They jump into taking action quickly, moving things forward. Then afterwards they know if they liked what they’ve done. They protect their freedom to act but do so in a more structured and planned way.
Act Feel Think
Act Feel Think people are keenly aware physically. They engage kinesthetically from a gut level, feel their way through it, and then learn from the experience.
Act Think Feel
Act Think Feel people have a gut response leading to structured movement. They learn by doing, have great stamina, and determine their preferences afterwards. Although their thoughts are available, they may not be shared.
Fluid people are integrated, intuitive, open, flexible, and flowing. They experience and communicate all awareness at the same time, in whatever order serves. They freely share all steps and can easily meet others wherever they are in their order.