Communication – the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc. to someone else.
Today’s world often seems like it’s filled with communication-overload. Phone, email, text, signs, billboards, television, Internet…there is a plethora of communication occurring 24/7/365. Yet, one of the top problems plaguing businesses and individuals today is the lack of effective communication.
Our busy, instant-access world has reduced the most important aspect of quality communication – the exchange. Instead of sharing ideas, opinions, and information, and truly communicating with others, people today are more likely to talk at someone, without really listening, and without allowing for an exchange discussion. A big part of our failure to communicate stems from the fact that many people aren’t aware of their personal communication style, or that of others.
If the goal of communication is truly to exchange ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., then it is in our best interest to understand and adapt our communication style to ensure that not only are we understood, but also that we are not misunderstood.
I’ve worked with many office teams that were having conflicts they thought were from differing personalities when the real issue was due to different communication styles. In every case, no one had ever looked at how they communicate with others, they just explained things the way they liked to hear them. Needless to say, that can cause a lot of miscommunication and conflict.
Types Of Communicators
Next time you are communicating with someone, stop and think about what type of communication style they may prefer. Generally, people fall into one of these 4 main areas:
Compliant Communicator – These people like data, numbers, and the facts. They see life in black and white and follow rules and procedures to a tee. Don’t just tell them revenues are good, tell them “Revenues are up 24% this quarter.”
Dominant Communicator – These are the big picture people who don’t want to get bogged down in details. They are no-nonsense and usually talk very fast. Get to the point when you talk to them, they don’t want the step-by-step accounting of every little thing.
Steady Communicator – Opposites of intuitive communicators, they are process and detail-focused. You can recognize them because while they are sometimes friendly, they move slower and often like to set the pace for activities and meetings. They like the step-by-step timeline and appreciate a detailed plan.
Influential Communicators are emotion and connection-focused. These personable people are magnetic and friendly. They would rather you tell them “Your team’s productivity is looking good this quarter” than “Your team’s productivity is up 35%.”
Knowing what style you are is helpful. Assessing and adapting to the communication style of the person you are working with can be the difference between a good lead and a great sale. Additionally, your colleagues, boss, and clients will enjoy communicating with you because you speak their language.