CO:mmunicate: Team Edition

James Christoferson has discovered a tool that reduces his expectations of others to just about zero. This valuable resource for teams can reduce frustration, accelerate acceptance and celebrate how others are wired. This tool makes sure everyone is heard, acknowledged and celebrated.

He’s been both a team member and a team leader, with over 30 years of experience in the non-profit world and most recently as the Executive Director of ARISE2Read Jackson-Madison County. To James, the most important team role has been family as a husband to Kelly, his wife of 34 years, dad to three daughters, and grandad to two very cute grandchildren. 

He was first introduced to the tool, 5 Voices, while training as a Lead Consultant for GiANT Worldwide. “5 Voices is a user-friendly, easy-to-remember assessment of the unique way we all are made and how we verbally communicate, ie. what is the mindset, presuppositions, framework from which we speak. It distills the Myers-Briggs Assessment into 5 primary voices.” James explains. “The goal is not to change one’s voice but to recognize your voice and your teammate’s voices and learn communication skills from this knowledge.”


Human beings are inherently curious. We’re always trying to work out how am I wired? Why do I do certain things? Why do some people annoy me? Why do I seem to get along incredibly well with others? Personality assessments continue to grow in popularity. But do you ever feel like you’ve been put in a box?

Co-creator and author of 5 Voices Steve Cockram says it best, “The world is awash with personality assessments. I’ll almost guarantee that sometimes it feels like someone is putting you in a box. This is actually a profound opportunity for you. Because what we found is if you are able to know yourself and if you’re able to understand the tendencies which shape your actions then you’re actually able to choose how you behave and relate to those around you.” 

“Some have very loud voices, some have very quiet voices, some of you are afraid to say anything in fear that it’s wrong or that someone will challenge it. Some of you are incredibly creative in the way that you engage with the world and deal with this constant frustration, which is whenever you share something nobody seems to quite understand what it is you’re saying. Some of you are always asking difficult questions trying to get to the truth and find it really frustrating that everyone often sees you as negative and pouring cold water on everyone’s ideas. Some of you are charismatic communicators of whatever it is you’re passionate about. You’re absolutely determined that everyone’s going to hear what it is you’re saying. Some of you have got louder voices and you’re absolutely convinced that you’re right most of the time and are completely unaware of the impact that your forcefulness and cumbersome nature have on those around you,” explains Jeremy Kubicek, Co-Author of 5 Voices.


Starting in September, James will be launching a Meetup at theCO called “CO:mmunicate: Team Edition,” to help teams and individuals understand their unique voice. The assessment is designed to help you understand if you’re a Pioneer, Connector, Guardian, Creative, or Nurturer and the meetup is designed to give you a lens to understand what it is people really hear on the other side of you.

“We hope to help you understand what order of each voices are represented in your personality and how to navigate specific team situations. We believe organizations can be transformed when everyone operates securely in their own voice and learns to value the voices of others,” says James.

We encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the free assessment online before attending the meetup on September 10 at theCO from 5:30-6:30pm. CO:mmunicate Meetup: Team Edition is a series hosted once a month. Learn more about Meetups at theCO here or RSVP for the CO:mmunicate meetup here.