Understand and adapt to different communication styles
In today’s corporate world, leaders need excellent communication skills. Many are being asked to do more with fewer resources while also dealing with the stresses of a corporation that is downsizing and/or tightening budgets. To remain effective, leaders need near perfect communication skills regardless of their own communication type. Understanding the style of the person you are communicating with can make the difference between getting your message across and getting it across well.
Consider these four communication styles and how you can effectively communicate with each one:
These are your CEOs in attitude. They are very competitive, goal-oriented, demanding, task-oriented and fast-paced. To these people, time is money and money is time. You know where you stand since they are blunt and direct in their communication. Their biggest fear is losing control and they ask the “What” questions. The Aggressor-Asserter has key strengths that include providing momentum, providing focus and making quick decisions. Their “on top of it” approach to projects can keep the rest of the team on target or even get it done early. However, this must be balanced as their weaknesses include overstepping their assignments, taking over tasks that have been assigned to others (and not necessarily because they can do them better, they just want to get them done).
To effectively connect with the Aggressor-Asserter, you must:
- Be brief, direct and concise.
- Provide options.
- Use a fast, quick pace.
- Focus on results and return-on-investment.
- Avoid providing lots of details.
- Provide short answers.
- Look them straight in their eyes.
- Be truthful.
These individuals are charismatic, enthusiastic, persuasive, lively, loud, talkative, friendly, people-oriented and very social. They are also visual and creative. Their biggest fear is social rejection and they ask the “who” questions. The Socializer is a great motivator. In the most organizations, these are on sales team. They are very creative and enjoy brainstorming. They do not keep track of time well and sometimes work tight to deadlines. They enjoy being the center of attention.
To effectively communicate with a Socializer, you must:
- Allow time for social interaction.
- Put details in writing or email.
- Have a fast pace, positive approach.
- Use a whiteboard in your discussions (Socializers are quite visual).
- Use phrases like “Picture this” or “Do You See.”
- Avoid a harsh, aggressive tone.
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