During Turners and After Turners

- Van Warren (c) 2K

Have you ever wondered why some people get along, and some don't? Perhaps a clue appears in the way in which people process inbound and outbound information during everyday conversation.

When you are speaking, there are two kinds of listeners. Some people, called "afterTurners", wait until you have completely finished expressing yourself. They might nod, or raise their eyebrows to affirm via the visual channel, but the audio channel is quiet. After you have spoken, they might ask you a clarifying question, or make a statement indicating they have understood you.

A second kind of person, called "duringTurners", will interrupt you while you are speaking to clarify the meaning of what you are saying.

Thus, there are afterTurners and duringTurners.

A thought, an idea, or a concept comes into the mind like a delicate flower, and if it is interrupted during its formation it can be lost

It can be lost, either on the outbound spoken journey, or the inbound listened journey. Some people are not so easily distracted, others are.

Besides being alive, there is one thing that people most want to do, and that is communicate. Being lonely is not having someone to communicate with. Faith is believing that even when you are alone, there is a God out there listening to what you say. Since God is hard to see and people are easy to see, it is much easier to talk to a person and believe you have been heard.

People can speak or listen.

People can interrupt or be interrupted.

People can think while speaking.

People can think while listening.

They may turn an idea around and view it from various angles while listening, watching it build.

They may need clarification while viewing the idea from various angles, especially if they are anxious or have many similar ideas stored.

They may be come frightened or defensive as they hear the stream of speech, if it contradicts some idea that is important to them.

They may interrupt the speaker to obtain this clarification, or they may wait until the speaker is finished to obtain clarification.

They may interrupt the speaker because they are reminded of a similar idea that they had.

Viewing an idea from various angles is called Turning.

Turning can be done while listening or speaking.

The visualization of the idea may be emerging as they are speaking.

Thus they are turning while speaking or listening.

When interrupted during their speech, the idea may dissipate.

It is difficult to turn, speak and listen at the same time.

This is why complete communication is difficult. It is busy.

Birth order, number of siblings and social position all play into the type of person.

By behavior patterns , there are four types of people:

Type 1) Dominant Leaders (after, during)

People who don't allow interruption during speaking and will interrupt while listening to another.

Type 2) Passive Leaders (after, after)

People who don't allow interruption during speaking and won't interrupt while listening to another.

Type 3) Interactive (during, during)

People who allow interruption during speaking and will interrupt while listening to another.

Type 4) Meek (during, after)

People who allow interruption during speaking and won't interrupt while listening to another.

So imagine conversations between two people of these four personality types.

There are 16 such conversations. The most remarkable thing are the rules that emerge.

  Active Leader Passive Leader Interactive Meek
Active Leader conflict domination conflict domination
Passive Leader domination progress conflict progress
Interactive conflict conflict progress progress
Meek domination progress progress progress
  16 possible 7 progress
      5 conflict
      4 domination

Thus we might reasonably conclude:

If benovolence implies that domination = progress then
If oppressive    implies that domination = conflict then

In organizations with a benevolent active leader, then progress will outpace conflict 11 to 5
In organizations with a oppressive active leader, then progress will lag over conflict 7 to 9

Now cross out the row and column containing the active leader.

In organizations with an passive leader the score is: 7 progress 2 conflict

The conflicts occur with interactive people. If the interactive people are instructed not to interupt then the score is: 9 progress.

From this we see a listening leader is better than a non-listening one by a considerable margin.

Game theoretically:
A passive leader, when faced with an active leader, must start interupting, or withdraw participation.
So one gives the active leader a choice. "Either let me finish speaking, or I will withdraw from the conversation."
A passive leader, when facing an interactive employee, must curtail interuption or conflict will ensue.


1) You must know the type of person you are.
2) You must know the type of person you are talking with.

If you know these, you are closer to predicting the outcome in advance.

When a conversation becomes heated, and people change types, the outcome can change!

"The meek shall inherit the earth".