Management Training: Communication Styles


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Our group focused on a second aspect of communication this week. As we discussed in previous sessions, communication has to be clear, specific and actionable. This week, we focused on finding out how your audience was receiving the information.

New managers often overlook this second aspect of communication. They focus on a one-size-fits all way of communicating and then get frustrated when some of their team does not understand what was asked of them.

The group took a multiple-choice test to see what category each fell into. With the test we used, communication styles were broken out into four different groups. The groups are based on two things that help you learn how to manage each member of your team: how people receive information and how they receive communication.

The four groupings were:

D: The Driver or Dominators

I: The Expressive or Influencers

S: The Amiable or Steady

C: The Analytical or Calculator

There is no one “right” group to be associated with. These groups show how you take in communication. I am sure once you read the grouping, you will be reminded of the people you deal with and this may help you understand why communication at times seems harder than it has to be.

For example, the “D” is not someone who enjoys chitchat. They want clear “what needs to be done” communication. They do not want to discuss how something needs to be done. They want to get on with it. They are not the most open in terms of back and forth, but they are very direct and get things moving. So when dealing with a “D,” be brief, focus on benefits of action and agree with facts.

The “I” is one who likes to go back and forth. They are the more “creative” ones in that they need to have their input or their say. The worst thing you can do to an “I” is not let them talk. It makes them explode. They also need a little social time in their day. They get things done, but they need someone to help set deadlines and tasks for them or else they go to the next idea and forget to follow up on another.

The “S” is the steady one. They like the security of processes and systems. They like knowing what happens each day. Change is not something that comes easy to them. They love details and the tasks, they are not first to offer feedback but when they do, it is perceptive. They see the implications of actions on the whole. Remember to clearly define goals and how something will happen. If you are changing something, make sure they understand what will happen and then give them time to adapt. Slow and steady is key with this group.

The “C” is the detail people. They need to understand all the steps in order to get moving. They are the people who ask a million questions. Their downfall is they can get analysis paralysis and wait for all examples to be deliberated on in order to act but they also are not the risk takers. They will look at a problem from all angles and pick up on things you may have missed. Remember to be systematic and orderly and don’t refuse to explain details since they need this to function effectively.

As a manager, understanding how people receive communication helps save time in the future. Knowing that an “I” needs to chat will help you to not cut them off. When speaking with a “C,” let them ask their questions. When dealing with a “D,” don’t waste time. Give your “S” the security of process and order so they can deliver for your company.

Making sure you know your team is as important as knowing what to say.

I case you were wondering, I am an “I” with some “S” thrown in.

Let me know your thoughts.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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