When differences collide 

A common response to learning about a personality tool is, "That was interesting." Then little changes as a result of the new information.

I've been using the 5 Voices since 2016, and the difference is remarkable. Consistently, I've seen clients learn, retain, and use the information … even years after its introduction. 

A few days before writing this post, I spoke with a client, who said, "I think [my family members] finally get it. They're trying harder."

I asked him to tell me more. He described ways they were treating him differently. He attributed this to their understanding his Foundational Voice, accepting his natural wiring, and responding to it verses reacting. 

They still want him to get better at managing that Voice's triggers. So does he. This will come over time. In the meantime, he sees them judging less, understanding more, and working with him to enhance their interactions.

Late last year another client told me their 5 Voices retreat was "the most impactful thing we did this year." 

Both of these families had done DISC and other personality assessments before -- with no impact. They had a different experience with the 5 Voices.

Every client I've taught the 5 Voices to has experienced a lasting impact. That's pretty remarkable.

When these clients made those comments, they had learned an overview of each Voice, its common stressors and stress reactions. It was a deeper dive than what I can share in an article -- and they shared the learning experience with family members -- but it was not radically different from what you have been learning. I share this to emphasize that even the basics can be impactful.

I offer retreats and workshops on how personality impacts communication, conflict management, collaboration and decision making. I won't to go into that in this series, but I do want to highlight the personality difference I see most often causing conflict -- especially among families.

Several aspects of personality can be understood as preferences, which exist along a spectrum. Each of us has a preference for one end (pole) of the spectrum or the other, and the preference can be mild, moderate, and strong.

The spectrum I see at the root of much conflict -- especially among families -- is most often described as "thinking versus feeling."

The spectrum refers to how people make decisions. The pole preference (thinking or feeling) and degree of preference (mild, moderate, or strong) influence the decision making process -- what information is considered and the degree to which it impacts the choice.

The chart below unpacks those poles even more.

"Thinking Pole"

"Feeling Pole"






Relational harmony







What (we do)

How (we do it)




These are not mutually exclusive. We can, for example, consider the task and its impact on people when making decisions. This spectrum merely references one's most natural bent.

When there's conflict, it's common for people-oriented Voices to feel like those who are logic-oriented don't care about people. And for logic-oriented Voices to think people-oriented Voices don't value being rational. It's an easy conclusion to jump to, but it's often not true!

I explain it this way:

  • A logic-oriented Voice may say: "It's in the best interest of people and relationships to make decisions based on logic and rationality."
  • A people-oriented Voice may say: "It's logical and rational to make decisions based on how they'll impact people."

Both are right. Neither is wrong. They may even arrive at the similar decisions. But their natural decision making process is very different. And that can feel like a very rough edge.

Consider this:

  • Which end of this spectrum do you tend to favor?
  • Recall a conflict you experienced while trying to make an important decision with someone else. How might aspects of that conflict be understood as differences in the thinking / feeling preference?

Okay, you're right … I did leave you hanging on which Voices are "thinkers" verses "feelers." That's because I bet you can guess!

Which Voices are more people-oriented ("feelers") and which orient around tasks ("thinkers")? …

Voices with a feeling preference:

  • Nurturer
  • Connector
  • Creative Connector

Voices with a thinking preference:

  • Pioneer
  • Guardian
  • Creative Pioneer

Did you guess right??? I bet you did.

Now, use this understanding to help you be more objective when preference differences clash. Both spectrum poles provide valuable insight and perspective. Work together to benefit from both … and you'll likely make even better decisions.

Need a refresher?

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.