Stop and think for moment, “How good are we at communicating?”
- Do you ever feel frustrated because all you hear is “BLA BLA BLA” when someone is explaining something?
- Do you find yourself explaining things over and over again?
- Do you ever think to yourself, “That person acts like a bull in a china shop?”
The beauty of life is that we are not all the same. The implication of this, among other things, is that we have different communications styles.
The same thing said to two different people may be heard and understood differently. Poor communication is one of the biggest downfalls in business as well in personal relationships. The fact is that we communicate all the time. We communicate by text message, email, social media, phone, and face-to-face.
The question is, “How good are we at communicating?”
Most people think they are good at communicating with others.
Some people don’t worry about whether they are good at communicating or not. Sometimes it takes a personality test, behavioral tests or other tools to make people realize that they truly do not know how to communicate well with the people around them.
If you do not understand how to communicate to people with styles different than yours, you are taking a huge risk that your message is not being heard and understood. It is not just whether or not you break the issue down into clear detailed steps or keep it high level. There is much more to communication.
What is the big deal if we do not communicate well with others? What is the impact on our careers and personal lives?
Think about it. If people around you only understand what you are saying 50% of the time, what happens to your company’s productivity, your team’s productivity, or your personal relationships?
It often means that you are working twice as hard to get the same message across. In other words, you are wasting money, time, and energy. Moreover, think about all the frustration and aggravation that could be avoided.
Becoming better at understanding others’ communication styles and being able to vary your own style is key to successful communication.
This is true for both your personal life and your career. When we talk about communication styles, we are talking about how people hear and comprehend what others say.
In general, we talk about four different communication style groups.
- Those who prefer to communicate in a straightforward manner. They are the “it is what it is” kind of people.
- Those who prefer for the same message to be delivered in a more upbeat and exciting matter. This group of people see “the glass half full instead of half empty.”
- Those who want the same message to be delivered in a planned and empathic way. This group is composed of the people who appreciate being included and appreciated by others.
- Those who need all the facts about a subject matter in order to make a decision or to understand what is at stake.
As you can see, it is really easy to be misunderstood, simply because we all have different ways of comprehending the same message. Missing what is important to your recipient – or overloading them with what isn’t important to them – may lead to miscommunication.
Taking the time to learn about the different communication styles is a major benefit because you will be able to talk to anyone in a manner in which they will be able to understand you.
If you currently do not know what your communication style is, take the time to learn. Understanding your own style is the first step to becoming a better communicator.
Heidi Hansen is the Living to Lead Communications Coach, Trainer & Speaker. Over the past two decades, Heidi has built a distinguished reputation for empowering individuals to exceed their performance expectations by enhancing their sales, supervisory, and management communication skills. Heidi offers a unique program set for improving interpersonal skills tailored for introverts in middle and executive management. She is multi-lingual, with over two decades of corporate training and adult education experience, specializing in developing face-to-face networking and facilitating career growth for business professionals.
To learn more about the leadership and communications programs available at Living to Lead, contact the Living to Lead team here.