What We Value and How We See the World – The Flow Style

Bill’s Perceptual Style is Flow. He perceives a world of unity and relationships in which every piece is connected to every other piece; a rich world where the parts fit together and support and nourish each other. He trusts in the flow of experience and believes what is important and necessary will emerge as a matter of course as it reflects the underlying harmony and cooperation inherent in the world. He knows the relationships he sees are not always obvious, especially to others, and that they reveal themselves only through his patient careful attention, and even then only slowly, in hints, intimations, and whispers.

Bill creates and sustains powerful but subtle relationships that form the glue of a community. He maintains the balance between the myriad elements of his world through constant attention and tending. His attention, while caring and supportive, is subtle and not readily apparent to those around him as he acts indirectly, behind the scenes, and outside the spotlight. Belonging is critical to him, but being the center of attention is not his style.

Moving smoothly and easily between daily events as his awareness emerges and recedes, Bill attends, in proper proportion, to events and people where connection and relationships require his attention. He builds connections steadily and patiently because he knows that relationships require time. He avoids pushing, demanding, or abrupt action because he trusts that what needs to be done will be done in its proper time.

Bill facilitates the development of an environment that is comfortable, one that fosters and encourages people. When his environment shifts away from cooperation, team building, and community, he quietly influences its realignment, putting his own personal needs aside if necessary. Bill has learned that taking care of himself is best done by taking care of the community within which he lives and works. While this is done with great care it is not passive, as he skillfully weaves a web of connections that binds those within his community closely to him.

Bill welcomes new events that support his traditions and values, and will adopt smoothly to change that he experiences as connected to the flow of his personal history. While he deeply distrusts arbitrary change, others often seek him out during times of upheaval because his skills are invaluable to restoring stability, coherence, and identity.

Bill uses his relational communities to gather and transmit informal information, after he has intuited what to pass on and what to withhold. He makes this determination through his understanding of what will most effectively and inconspicuously build alliances, promote participation, and instill commitment from people within his community. His information sharing is so careful and unobtrusive that others experience the connection within the community but are often unaware of his contribution to building it.

Bill often acts as a listening post to the members of his community without the need to give advice, pass judgment, or provide opinions. He will offer aid and assistance when asked but it takes the form of empathy and support rather than strategy and action plans. He encourages development and growth, and empathizes with those who are struggling. People respond to his personal engagement with them and the warmth and concern he shows them. Bill is rarely in a rush and always has time to interact with those who are troubled or just want to talk.

For Bill, the world is not a series of unrelated facts but a single whole full of patterns, impressions, and connections. He communicates his experience in stories that provide others with the necessary context but may alter or leave out factual points. His stories are a way to build personal connection and find common ground with others rather than a means to convey data and facts.

Bill is at his best smoothing the sharp edges of chaotic environments and erratic relationships. He builds a sense of cohesion within groups and creates a sense of group identity to which others willingly commit. He secures commitment to the community by thinking of others, making contact, doing favors, and staying in touch with all community members. It is important to him that outsiders accurately perceive community values, so he attends carefully to the image that his group projects and makes sure that it is consistent and appropriate.

His activities are ultimately focused on support and maintenance of his community. He is a keeper of community history and tradition and uses the history of the community to keep it grounded. He knows that understanding the past holds the key to providing continuity between the past, present, and future. He is the one who remembers everyone’s birthday, special occasions, and personal tidbits. He finds ways to stay in touch and often gives small meaningful gifts for no apparent special reason. These are his way of holding onto and building relationships and community.