How many of you have struggled with communicating effectively? I have.
For some, communication comes so easily and naturally. While for others, we struggle to communicate or get or message across to the receiver.
Most recently, I was at an event where I was interviewing with a panelist. I was prepping the speaker on what to expect. I advised the speaker that we will put the microphone on her, then she will meet with our moderator and asked that when on-screen she introduces herself on camera (name, company, role).
The speaker replied okay to everything, then said, “I will sit on the couch."
I then responded, "you can't sit on the couch yet as you will be in the scene for the current video that's shooting."
To help you visualize the environment, we had two sofas, one where the moderator was conducting the interview and one directly next to the moderator that would fall in the shot of the conversation.
So, my response totally confused the speaker.
How could this be?
We were in the same room, talking on the same subject, yet had two different perspectives on what would happen. The speaker's reference to the couch was that she would sit on the big couch for her interview. My reference to the couch was that the speaker wanted to sit down on the couch (tired) and couldn't do so yet as she would be in the shot we were currently shooting.
How often does this happen to you during the day where mixed messages and communication leads to a difference of perspectives?
In some cases, communication can be so flawed that it impacts the environment, collaboration, and culture in an organization.
Yet, if we learned some simple tricks, we can leverage our personal strengths to improve how we communicate with others leading to improved results.
When you are more in tune with your behavior and how you respond, it will help you learn how to engage with others better. Paying attention to how you engage with others, your spouse, your colleagues, your friends will help to identify your natural tendencies (habits).
Do you find that you prefer to engage with others on a one on one basis, or are you energized by being the life of the party?
Do you prefer large data sets or supporting information before deciding?
Do you struggle to make decisions because you require all the facts, or do you just do it and pivot your strategy as you move through your project or initiatives?
These characteristics and behavior define and shape who you are. It also shapes how you engage with others.
For example, I prefer doing and figuring things out as I go, while, in my relationship, my partner is slow to make decisions to the point where it has to be absolutely perfect before taking any action (decision paralysis).
These behaviors are on opposite ends of the spectrum and can naturally lead to conflict. However, if you are more aware of what drives and energizes you; and what depletes your energy, this will allow you to structure your engagement and communication with others for a more successful outcome.
Leverage your Personal Strengths
Once you understand your natural tendencies, you can leverage these behaviors (personal strengths) to identify the impact you are having on others. Remember, we all look at a situation from a different perspective allowing for diverse decision making and approaches to solving problems. How we may go about an issue may be different from how someone else approaches that same issue.
What we need to understand is how we approach others with differing perspectives. If we don’t have the right approach when engaging with others with a differing perspective, it can lead to so many issues from low morale, conflict, poor relationships, and an impact on organizational performance.
Understanding your natural behaviors and tendencies allows you to pivot your approach to communicating with someone of a differing style for a more productive outcome.
For example, some people gravitate to others and build relationships with anyone (people-focused), while others are slower to build relationships as they are skeptical. Identifying behavioral queues can help you to pick up on an individual's style so that you can engage with them in a manner they are receptive of and can process.
One of the ways that you can become more self-aware is by completing an assessment such as DiSC Personality Profiles. These profiles help you to understand your behavior and natural tendencies, and leverage what you learn about you (through the results report) to offer solutions to engage with others more effectively.
With DiSC profiles, you can complete a paper version which is known as the DiSC Classic or an electronic version which is known as the Everything DiSC profiles. The Everything DiSC Workplace profiles are so simple to understand and provide tips on improving your impact in the workplace. Another popular DiSC profile is the Everything DiSC management profile, which looks at helping you understand your behaviors and natural tendencies and how your behavior impacts those that you manage (decision making, influencing, and development).
Finally, DiSC isn’t the only solution in the marketplace that provides you input on your natural behaviors and tendencies. Assessments such as Meyers Briggs (MBTI), Big Five, and Hogan are some of the popular ones. They all help you leverage the strengths of your personal behavior to improve how you engage with others.