how? or wow!

There are two kinds of people in the world: How? people and Wow! people. Typically we are bent one way or the other, although certainly we are all capable of both.

How? people are the figure-out-ers. They hear a great idea and immediately jump into the role of working out how to make it happen.

Wow! people are the encouragers. They hear a great idea and immediately respond with exhortation and encouragement.

Both are needed. And at different times in the ideation process, one is needed more than the other.

The How? questions will eventually be needed, but not always right away. Often ideas need to percolate a while before the logistics should be tackled. What may be needed initially are some Wows! to fan the flame and fuel the vision.

I learned this the hard way.

I'm a How girl. I quickly jump to the practical elements when I hear an innovative idea... How can we make this work? What will we need to do it? When could we feasibly get it done? What steps do we need to take to get there?

I ask questions, not to challenge but to strengthen and help.

But I realized that my Hows? can come across as deflating when I never intend them to. In all honesty, I know I crushed my ex-husband's heart many times by responding with How? when what he needed from me was a Wow!


So when I'm sharing an idea in my heart with someone, it may be best to define where I'm at in the process and what I actually need from them.

It may be helpful all the way around to clarify when I need a Wow! reaction and when I need a How? reaction. And when someone is trusting me with an idea of their own, it may be wise for me to ask right off the bat what they need in that moment.

I want to always be one who encourages and strengthens, with both Wows! and Hows?

I just need to get better at learning when each is most needed...

Are you a How? or Wow! person? How does it play out in your relationships?