Opposing Traits: Encourager/Tracker

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By Mark Vickers, Ph.D.

The combination of Tracker and Encourager traits make for a potent communication style. Though it’s relatively uncommon,   I do know a few people who have this combination and use it to their advantage in communication at work. They have learned to use their traits synergistically and how to compliment the seemingly opposite communication styles.

First, the Encourager trait is all about the story; specifically, how the story is told. The Tracker trait is also concerned with the story, but focuses on the purpose of the story. The Encourager trait relies on the listener to engage with the story teller. In opposition, the Tracker trait relies on the listener to engage with the story.

These seemingly incompatible communication styles can work together. My friends have learned to take on one style over the other when the context calls for it. For example, when in a casual setting, my friends tend to rely on their Encourager style and are more playful in their tone and style. When in business settings and meetings, they tend to rely on their Tracker style to ensure all the details are conveyed.

Though these traits fight against each other at times, they have a unique role in the story process. They serve to balance the need for engaging the listener with emotion and the need for precision. So, for those Tracker/Encourager individuals who believe these traits are a curse, take heart, they actually may be a blessing.


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