Effective Interactions Can Change Your Life

Effective Interactions Can Change Your Life





Imagine a life with less conflict, more teamwork, better relationships, increased buy-in for your ideas, and fewer people telling you “no.” Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? It is!

What are effective interactions and how can they make you more successful?

After several years of offering corporate and lifestyle skills coaching, it became very obvious to me that one of the biggest factors causing people a lot of stress and frustration comes from not being able to effectively interact with others. I think most people would agree that to truly understand others, and be understood, is not as easy as it sounds. So, how can we increase our interaction effectiveness?

If you want to communicate and better engage with employees, your boss, customers, and family/friends, it helps to know a bit about yourself and be able to recognize certain characteristics of others. For instance, when considering your behavior and how you solve problems, meet challenges, influence people, and respond to rules and procedures set by others, which set(s) of behavior styles sounds more like you?

  • Competitive and Decisive   or     Cooperative and Cautious
  • Optimistic and Persuasive   or   Reflective and Logical
  • Patient and Consistent   or   Restless and Active
  • Diplomatic and Systematic  or   Obstinate and Arbitrary

Depending on your behavior style, and that of the person you are working with, you will find that there are certain words and phrases that can help create a more congenial relationship, leading to a more effective business. For instance:

  • When communicating with a person who has a behavioral style strong in the “competitive” and “decisive” behaviors:
    • Use a motivating approach
    • Ask for her/his opinions and ideas regarding people
    • Don’t give your opinion and don’t tell them what to do
  • When communicating with a person whose behavioral style is largely “diplomatic” and “systematic”:
    • Be prepared with facts and figures
    • Give her/him time to verify the reliability of your actions; be accurate and realistic
    • Don’t rush her/his decision-making process

Each behavioral style brings special value to an organization, the key to managing a successful business is to identify the styles of your team, learn the best way to communicate with each style, and try to match the style with a position that can maximize their strengths. So, how can this help your business and/or career?

Effective Interactions In The Office
To help explain how this works, let me share a story about two co-workers, Daisy and Dixie.

Daisy and Dixie have worked together for eight years and generally get along. But, at times Daisy feels like Dixie is too slow in responding to requests, allows rules to get in the way of progress, and wastes time researching and calculating instead of moving forward expediently. Dixie runs into conflict with Daisy, too, and feels Daisy doesn’t always listen, gets too excited about new things without taking time to fully research them, and worries too much about the bottom line.

When conflicts arise between them, the whole office slows down and the team becomes ineffective. Dixie’s work slows down as she spends more time researching and calculating in an effort to “make Daisy understand”, and Daisy becomes more frustrated over the time being “wasted.” The cycle gets worse as time goes on, and their frustration rubs off on other members of the team.

Their boss recognized the benefits each bring to the company, and wanted to try and help them resolve their issues, so she referred them to me. After an initial one-on-one consultation with each of them, I had them complete an online assessment that measures their behavioral style, their motivators, and general emotional quotient (EQ). Then, the three of us scheduled a group meeting to review their assessments and learn to integrate the findings to create more effective interactions. Now, I have to say, these meetings are not always the easiest as they bring issues to light that are not always comfortable to discuss. But, with some ground rules in place to keep everyone civil, we are able to increase an understanding of ourselves and the other person(s) on the team. With continuing practice, utilizing the right words, phrases, and body language can help any two or more people work together more effectively, and in turn, create a more successful business.

Effective Interactions In Sales
Another client came to me because he wanted to find a way to close more sales. He explained that at times he felt his customers disconnect from him and wasn’t sure why. A review of his assessment showed that he has a tendency to be too “bottom-line oriented” which may come across as overly pushy to some people, even though he was also very magnetic and persuasive.

We reviewed how his behavioral style may come across to different people, and also examined how to recognize the common behavioral styles of others. We then developed a list of words and phrases to use with each style, as well as some general rules in body language for each. After a few months, he was on the road to his highest sales year ever.

Effective Interactions In Life
Unless you live under a rock, you interact with a variety of people and their behavioral styles every day. Whether in person, on the phone, or through email and text, when you understand how best to communicate with different people, you are less likely to run into conflicts, and more likely to develop successful, influential relationships. Knowing how to engage in effective interactions can help you get a promotion, land a new job, increase sales, and even create a more harmonious home life. When you consider how beneficial the right communication can be, why would you waste your time having ineffective interactions?


Learn more about Coaching By Karen’s Effective Interactions Workshops by clicking here.