Find What Makes Them Tick

July 13, 2011

YOUNG ME: “How do you work so well with different people?”

MANAGER: “I find what makes them tick.”

That was the best advice I EVER got in dealing with different people.


Communication is something that we all struggle with.  Everyone has different life stories, cultures, success and failures.  However,  when it boils down to it,  we are all just people who want to be listened to and understood.  This is why it is important to find what makes people “tick” … aka … what makes motivates people … what makes them happy.

How do you find what makes people “tick”?

It’s not easy … nor is it an exact science … but here are a 5 tips that I find help with the process.

The most important, but often missed step in the process.

When you are truly listening to someone all your focus is on them and you process every single word they are saying.  You do not interrupt them.  You let them stop speaking before you speak or form you own opinions.

It’s a very simple concept, but we don’t always do this.  Especially when we are in a hurry or know what we want.

Also,  when you are listening to someone you will learn how they communicate… direct, very formal, casual, scattered … etc.  You will also see if they are decisive, indecisive, or really laid back.

Listening reveals a lot about what makes a person tick and the language style to use when communicating with them.

This has always been a big NO NO.  By stereo typing someone you are sticking them in a box that they might not belong in.  Put aside your pre-conceived notions of how you think someone is or how you think they should be … and focus on who they really are.

By setting aside all stereotypes,  you focus on the true person and do not make assumptions based on what you do not know first hand.

This will help helps you figure out what type of person they are…. You see if they are a happy or a sad person.  If they are strong willed or insecure.

It doesn’t have to be your deepest darkest secret, but share something that shows you’ve got a little bit of life experience.

This will allow you to gauge how comfortable this person is about their personal life.  Sometimes they’ll respond with a very personal story … and sometimes they’ll just nod their heads.

Depending on their response you can unveil if they have are a very private person or a very open person.  You might even discover they have hidden talents or skills that they don’t always openly talk about.

Being honest shows sincerity and proves that you are not a robot.  People don’t like to talk to robots, people like to talk to people.

Be honest with yourself and the person you are talking to.  This will establish a trust and open communication.  They might even openly communicate what makes them happy w/o you having to ask.

Don’t be distracted by other peoples differences.  Accept people for who they are and try not to wish upon them who you wish they would be.

Instead … focus on their strengths and what you do like about them.   You do not have the power to change them so you might as well get over it and move forward.

Easier said than done, especially if you have very strong opinions or are very strong willed.

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

– Tony Robbins

I’m no expert in communication BUT I can say that the moment I started to find what makes people “tick” my life got a little easier.

Happy people help make the world “tick.”