So begins the opening to the popular television show CSI. This questions seems to be asked in every generation as people seek to discover who we are. In school we take IQ, ACT, SAT, or other tests to tell us about who we are intellectually. Daniel Goleman popularized EQ to help us better understand our emotional intelligence. In the work place we may take MBTI or DISC personality profiles to gain insights into our behaviors and the behaviors of those around us. Spiritually we take various spiritual gifts tests or analyses so we know our part to play in the work of the church and kingdom of God. Each of these tests and inventories has merit, but too often they tend to lock us into a box which then becomes a prison or an excuse as to why we act as we do.
Steve Cockram and Jeremy Kubieck recently published 5 Voices: How to Communicate with Everyone You Lead on the premise that we have one primary voice and generally two-three secondary voices. However, the authors tell us that most of us do not understand our primary voice and how it can best be used with the people with whom we work. Thus their book is designed to help readers assess their primary voice among the five, then develop that voice. The five voices are: Nurturer, Creative, Guardian, Connector, and Pioneer.
Here are the authors brief descriptions of each voice:
Nurturer: champion of people – concerned with the relational health and harmony of the group; are committed to protecting values and principles; and understand how actions and words will affect others
Creative: champion of innovation – think outside the box; believe things can always be better; ask why people never quite understand your ideas
Guardian: champion of responsibility and stewardship – value and respect logic, order, procedure, process; seek clarity and proven decision-making criteria; want to see successful track record in order to make changes
Connector: champion of relationships and strategic partnerships – rally people to causes and things they believe in; good at building networks of people and can usually find the right people for the right situation
Pioneer: champion of results and progress – possess an anything is possible attitude; visioning a new future is always priority; always looking for quickest, most efficient way to win
After reading the book, filled with details on each voice, including strengths, weaknesses, and how to use not only your primary voice but the other voices as well, I believe those who read and apply the principles of the book will better communicate with team members, family, and friends. I recommend taking time to read this practical book.
Who are you? Who? Who? will never be completely answered by personality profiles, inventories, tests, or voices. We are far more complicated than can ever be assessed. If we follow Christ our ultimate identity is found in him.