Everywhere you look – in bookstores, in newspapers, in magazines and online — you’ll find advice on how to build strong business relationships.

What if all the advice we get about how to build business relationships is coming from a temperament that’s opposite from ours? What if the people giving us advice aren’t the majority of the population?

For example:

Many people share their aches and pains on a regular basis. Ask them how they are and they’ll tell you they have a headache or a backache or a pulled muscle; they’ll tell you they didn’t sleep well or something they ate is causing them grief.  These folks are often (though not always)  Keirsey’s Artisans and Guardians, people who talk  about reality most of time.

A lot of business advice tells you that you shouldn’t talk about your aches and pains or other problems in the workplace; that these types of conversations may lower your reputation and credibility. The folks who dish out this type of business advice are often (though not always) Keirsey’s Idealists and Rationals. They like to talk about ideas most of the time and any time spent discussing physical things postpones and sometimes gets in the way of talking about ideas.

Idealists want to talk about ideas, but they desire authenticity from themselves and the people around them. Does being authentic include expressing all your physical and emotional issues?

Rationals desire calm, so any detour into discussions about physical discomfort is uncomfortable for them. Because of this, they often appear to be cold or uncaring. They do care, but they want to get back to talking about the ideas that will help everyone achieve their workplace goals. For  Rationals, it’s all about the work.

But maybe the way to build business relationships if we’re  Idealists or Rationals is to ignore the business advice that tells us not to engage in discussions about personal issues for 5-10 minutes and share our aches and pains before getting down to business…if we’re with Guardians and Artisans.

The sharing of those personal aspects of your life are really about connecting; and connecting in a personal way can help us build strong business relationships.

Question: Is it easier for Rationals and Idealists to connect with reality than for Artisans and Guardians to connect with abstract ideas?

What do you think?