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Speak the Language

I hate different personalities because knowing how to communicate with another person is like learning another language. However, the world would be a very dull place if everyone had the same personality.

"How come your brother does not listen like you do, Michael?" My mom wondered.

"I don't know. Maybe because he is not as smart?" I replied.

It was determined, after having meetings with many of my clients, that in order to convey an idea to each individual child, adults need to speak in a way that the children find familiar. We understand "logic," children do not. Thus, conveying an idea to promote good behaviors needs to be catered according to each child's personality.

Yes, parents might need to communicate differently between siblings.


  • Objective-focused

  • Know what they want and how to get there!

  • Communicates quickly, gets to the point

  • Sometimes tactless and brusque

  • Can be an "ends justify the means" type of person

  • Hardworking, high energy

  • Does not shy away from conflict


  • Natural salesmen or storytellers

  • Warm and enthusiastic

  • Good motivators, communicators

  • Can be competitive

  • Can tend to exaggerate, leave out facts and details

  • Sometimes would rather talk about things rather than doing them!


  • Kind-hearted people who avoid conflict

  • Can blend into any situation well

  • Can appear wishy-washy

  • Has difficulty with firm decisions

  • Often loves art, music and poetry

  • Highly sensitive

  • Can be quiet and soft-spoken


  • Highly detail oriented people

  • Can have a difficult time making decisions without ALL the facts

  • Make great accounts and engineers

  • Tend to be highly critical people

  • Can tend to be pessimistic in nature

  • Very perceptive

Younger son is analytical and older daughter is expressive.

Younger son's focus when trying to understand the world is reasoning and logic flow. Therefore, we need to communicate in a way that creates reasons and connects what he already knows to the new information we want to introduce to him.

Older daughter's focus is on excitement. She wouldn't even care about why as long as that excites her or make the family happy.

Therefore, while son would better understand the sentence as "remember ... we learned from last time? that is why this is ..."daughter would better understand "let's go to do ... together! (a very cheerful tone).

Twins, one is driver and the other is amiable.

They would fight all the time. You thought why is driver always mean to the amiable. Driver cares about result and does not want to waste time. Amiable is very sensitive and indecisive. Driver hates everything about amiable and amiable doesn't understand why.

We need to teach drivers that "not having compassion could potentially hurt many people," and tell amiables not to think about everything is personal and that we all love them.



Michael is an independent college counselor, counseling 8th- through 12th-grade and California Community College students. He assists students to identify strengths and weaknesses, design education paths, teach study skills, plan class selection and extra-curriculum, prepare for SAT/ACT, and college admission. Michael earned a bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University.

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