Speaking of Stress 

As you've learned about the 5 Voices, I wonder: Where have you seen yourself?

For some, determining your Voice order came easy.

Others saw yourself in many Voices, and it was hard to rank-order them. This is common when nature (the "hard wiring" you were born with) is different from nurture (how you were influenced in early life) and/or choices you've made to learn and grow.

My nature is very different from my nurture and choices I've made to grow. Learning key triggers helped with my Voice order -- but it all came together when I learned their reactions to stress. (It's uncanny how accurate these are. I never knew stress reactions were "hard wired.")

The creators of 5 Voices describe each Voice's stress reaction as a "weapons system." This metaphor emphasizes that while some are more detrimental than others, none are good. All can cause not only hurt, but harm -- lasting damage to relationships, family and team dynamics, and business performance.

Let's dive in and learn more …

When under stress, the Nurturer Voice will withdraw its characteristic warmth and care.

  • While this reaction may not seem like a weapon, consider this: What would happen to your vehicle if someone drained its oil? The engine would quickly grind to a halt. That's no small impact!
  • When the "relational oil" of the Nurturer Voice is removed, team and family dynamics can run hot and grind to a halt.
  • While this reaction may seem mild in comparison to others, the consequences are impactful.

Under stress the inquisitive nature of the Guardian Voice goes into over-drive.

  • The pursuit of answers heats up and the pleasantries of relationship go out the window.
  • It can feel like an interrogation chamber -- an agenda of information extraction without consideration of relationship.

In reaction to stress, the Connector Voice repurposes its gift of persuasive  communication … to stealthily undermine the reputation of an organization, person, or plan.

  • The words they use may be subtle, but the impact is notable when a Connector's favor turns south.
  • And like cyber warfare, it can be hard to track the source back to the Connector. 

Creative Connectors have one of the more surprising reactions to stress. At their best, they have a "why can't we all just get along" attitude, but when triggered, a Hulk-like side comes out -- displaying emotions so intense, you didn't know they had it in them!

  • While often motivated to protect -- a person or values they hold dear -- this reaction definitely feels like a weapon if you're on the receiving end.

When stressed, Creative Pioneers also have a reaction that can catch others off-guard. This time, it's because of the specificity and velocity.

  • A Creative Pioneer can launch a critique so direct, its as if a sniper rifle delivered it.
  • The critique may be accurate, but it is pure challenge, devoid of support or apparent care for how it will impact the recipient.

The Pioneer Voice's stress reaction is the verbal equivalent of a grenade launcher.

  • When triggered, this Voice can let out a verbal assault that leaves its target and those around looking for safe cover.
  • The impact can be lasting -- causing team or family members to be hesitant to share critical feedback or express a differing opinion.

As you read these descriptions, where did you recognize your tendencies? Did you catch some glimpses you didn't like?

Self awareness is the first step toward self management. You can't change a reality you don't know exists.

Consider this:

If you want to engage your "weapon system" less…

  • Identify your common triggers.
  • Learn the early warning signs that stress, anger, or anxiety are building. These may include thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and changes in your body.
  • Identify ways to cope and respond … instead of react. Practice these to develop your skill.
  • When you mess up … and react under stress … own it. Take responsibility, apologize, and inquire how you can make things right.
  • To help you identify your tendencies and their impact, email me and request the Tendency Log worksheet. Also tell me where you saw yourself in these stress reactions.

Practice can help you prevent, moderate, and recover better from your reactions to stress.

If you want to know how your Voice order responds under low, moderate, and high stress, get the Pro results. It's uncanny how accurate they are!

* Pro results' price will increase soon.

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Want to discover your Voice?

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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch

About the author

A former CPA, my career started at a Big 5 accounting firm. As part of the Family Wealth Planning group, I saw the challenges of family business and family wealth. Those challenges often overshadowed the enjoyment of working with family. I was convinced there had to be a better way, but could not find anyone who could help navigate the intersection of family, business, and wealth. Determined, I left my career in finance and earned a Masters in Psychology.
In the almost two decades since, I have learned how families can thrive -- even when business is personal. Let me help you, your family, and its business thrive.

Let's talk about what matters to you.

I am based in Charleston, SC and serve clients across North American and abroad.

To schedule a consultation and see if we are a good fit to work together, please contact me directly via phone or email.