How many times have you heard someone say “she/he just doesn’t get it” or “if I told him/her once, I’ve told them a dozen times”? Lots right? The problem is, many of us have grown up believing that the onus is on the receiver to understand what we are trying to communicate. And if they don’t then they are somehow stupid or lazy or worse – being difficult.
However, we are missing a key point here. And that is, we all have different styles of recalling and re-presenting information. Some people are very visual; some auditory and some are kinaesthetic. Likewise, different personality styles respond better to certain presentation styles: direct vs storytelling; energetic vs monotone; sociable vs formal; cautious vs bold.
As the communicator of the information (whatever level we are at) surely it is in our interest to ensure that we deliver the information in a way that the receiver can understand what we are asking. So, if messages are not getting through, who is responsible? Who has the power and ability to work out the best style of communication to ensure the message gets through and is understood accurately? Yes – the communicator!
So how do we do this without asking everyone we meet to complete a 4-page personality questionnaire before we even speak to them?
1. Through understanding different representation systems.
For example, when you think about something – how do you predominantly do it? Do you see pictures in your head?
Do you talk to yourself, hear conversations or sounds? Do you sense things or does smell feature in your recall?
Click here to find out how best to spot which representation system the person you are communicating with leads with and then how best to engage with them.
- Through recognising dominant personality styles through a simple analysis of how people interact – especially in stressful situations.
For example are you communicating with someone formal and task oriented or is the person expressive and effusive in how they speak; perhaps the person likes to have facts rather than hear long winded stories; or maybe they are soft, yielding and back away from conflict.
Click here to see if you can spot the most dominant personality trait for people in your office; does their personality style match the representation system indicated? By using the tips listed, you will find it much easier to find a connection with your whole team.
- Using eye cues and signals is especially helpful when transmitting information that is new to a person as it helps you to understand whether their responses are motivated by past experiences or by future fears.
Specifically, in a training or change environment, this can make the difference between successfully engaging a team & embedding new practices or exacerbating their fear.
Click here to understand how to quickly and easily empathise with the person you are engaging with.
- Using body language to quickly and easily build rapport
Body language tells you more about what people really mean and are thinking than any words. It’s one thing though to understand another person’s body language but quite another to master your own, and this skill can be critical in building rapport.
You are constantly being subconsciously judged by your facial expression, your tone of voice and body stance. And, whilst body language is universal, there are cultural nuances which means that communicating in an International context can be a minefield.
Click here to find out the different signals we give off and how can we use our knowledge of these to our advantage.
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