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Are You a Marlin or a Dory?

Have you ever had the opportunity to be a part of a dream team?… We mean a team where you all enjoy each other, accomplish tasks efficiently, and succeed with minimal issues? Let us tell you, these teams do exist! Whether you’re at the office, at home, at school, or inside of Dr. Phillip Sherman’s fish tank, there are communication skills that you can contribute to the group, to create your very own DREAM TEAM!

First of all, effective communicate is key! If you’re a direct communicator in a group of expressive, emotional communicators, chances are, you need to change your communication style. Remember this, people will not change their communication styles for you, YOU need to change your style for them!

Now, imagine this:

You’re swimming in the great blue. There are only two of you. One with the name of Marlin, and one with the name of Dory. Now Marlin, he’s a cool guy - he’s a leader. BUT, he communicates with authority, he’s very to-the-point, and he’s determined to strive for success. On the other hand we have our beautiful, fun Dory. She’s creative and very expressive, BUT she lacks communication skills that Marlin can relate to.

So here’s what you can do if you’re a Marlin:

Even if it’s not in your best interests, listen! Listen to what your other teammates have to say!  Listen to their ideas! Who knows, their creativity could open up some other doors for

you, and if not, just consider what they are saying without shutting it down. You don’t want to be known as Mr. Grumpy Gills.
Don’t do all the work. We mean, if you’re going to get the job done, of course make sure this happens. But you can delegate - delegate the creative portion to the creators, delegate the detailed stuff to the people who love to analyze. Get to know your team and what they can offer you. For example, if you can’t speak whale and one of your teammates can, let them take the lead and let their talents shine!
Your strong drive for success is going to be a huge attribute when you’re team needs to reach a deadline, finish a project, or whatever else it might be! Just remember, you have the skills to negotiate, to be the one to set goals and targets, and of course, you have the ability to encourage the rest of your team! Chill out on the defensiveness, kill the motor, and see what squirt can do flying solo.
Take a creative spin on things. If you’re stuck in a group of Jelly’s and you can’t touch the tentacles, think outside the box! Make a game out of it! Reach all of your creative peeps  and keep your communication style active by throwing some quick rules in there! “Whoever can hop on the tops of the jelly’s to get through them the fastest wins! Quick rule - no touching the tentacles - Now go!”

Now, on the other hand, you’re a Dory - here’s what you can do:

You’re a fish who like to work in a happy environment - you’re sensitive to the needs of the people, and put all considerations of others before yourself. The only issue is, Marlin’s not going to care. So be optimistic when you have to swim into that dark cave, or participate in a meeting with some sharks. Don’t take offense if Marlin comes across ignorant, or arrogant. Sing your song, be supportive, and Marlin will come around to say his thank you.
If you’re working with a Marlin, you can ask them questions - or let them know they had a “great idea.” Marlin loves to be acknowledged, and hates rejection. If a group of fish starts mocking him, you can be the support to get him back on board. Address the issue with Marlin, and then take flight and be the social butterfly that you are to figure out a solution with the rest of the group!


Rather than telling Marlin about how you feel things should be, you need to consider that they need a more direct response. If Marlin starts swimming off (mentally or physically), respect the fact that he needs a short response with the objective clearly stated. For example, instead of saying “I feel like you should breathe, and swim on, because….” say: “Just keep swimming.”

Embrace your teammates, and see how far you can swim as a team!

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