Different communication styles
People communicate in all sorts of different ways. Speech, eye contact, body language, hand signals, writing and much more. Much of the time we are communicating but are not even aware that we are doing so! If you want to know how you and your team members communicate, read on. Recognising their communication styles – and yours – will help you bring them together and make the team more effective.
How people communicate is an outward reflection of their personalities and an expression of their behaviour. The one person gets straight to the point while the other skirts around the issue. The one is not afraid to ask for help openly, while the other bashfully drops hints until the listener picks up the hints. Or not. All different communication styles. After all, listening is a hugely important part of communication that people tend to forget. And then there are all sorts of other factors that affect how we communicate. Many people communicate differently with friends than with family or colleagues, or with people that they perceive to be higher or lower in the hierarchy. Sometimes we are surprised to see that confident, somewhat dominant, person, give in. And sometimes we see that quiet seemingly introvert person unexpectedly stand their ground. It seems that communicating is much more complicated than we think!
Communicating in the workplace
We all know that inter-personal relationships can make things go horribly wrong in the workplace. Maybe you have experienced this yourself. But they can go wonderfully right too. Teams thrive with the right balance of personalities. The trick is to understand your own personality and behaviour, and those of your team members, clients, and contacts. Even your friends and family. You will then have a much better idea how to approach them in a way that will keep the lines of communication open and friction to a minimum. This works the other way round too of course. They will have a much better idea about how to approach you. In fact, communicating effectively is an art. But it’s an art that can be learned.
Different communication styles and colour
One easy and practical way to start understanding your own personality and behaviour, and those of your colleagues, is the Behaviour Styles® colours assessment to find out your and your team members’ predominant traits. The assessment is a useful tool based on DISC that divides people among four main colour groups – red D for dominance, yellow I for influence, green S for steadiness and blue C for conscientiousness. Of course not everyone fits neatly into one colour. Most people are a blend of two colours. Nevertheless, the Behaviour Styles® colours assessment helps you understand your own communication style and that of the people around you and thus helps people see how they can best approach each other. Once you know the predominant colour or the blend of colours of another person, you can adapt your different communication styles to best effect. For example, get straight to the point with a blue person, while with a red person set the context first. With a green person draw up a chair and first ask them how they’re doing before bringing up the subject at hand, but with a yellow person bring it up immediately. This is a very rough rule of thumb of course, but it does serve to show that there are different communication styles that suit different personality types and that you can learn how to deal with different personalities.