Communication in your home, your business and your life can make or break you.
It seems every leadership or personal development book I read talks about communication.
And…with good reason.
It happens – nearly every time something goes awry at home, in business, or in life – someone, somewhere, blames it on poor communication, miscommunication, or (God help us) NO communication!
We all know it is true, because we have all experienced it.
See, I am a very communication oriented person, and I make every effort to communicate openly, clearly, and thoroughly (maybe sometimes too thoroughly). So, imagine my frustration when I realized everyone is not like me!! (Say What?!?) And, worse yet…some of them hear something completely different than what I am saying.
Wow! How’d that happen?
It took some time, but by studying things like personality theory and communication theory I soon realized that there are techniques that can help minimize the frustrations often associated with failed communication.
I have successfully used the concepts and techniques that I am about to share with you, in several of my personal and business relationships, as well as corporate and team building. As a result of my own implementation of these things, I have found them extremely effective and helpful in both areas to:
build team relationships
facilitate increased productivity.
Speaking Their Language
In trying to build teams and lead others, you have to be able to speak their language (and I’m not talking about English, Spanish, Japanese…or any other cultural or societal based language as we know it). By “language” I am referring to their preferred style of communicating and how it interacts with your particular style.
Since most people tend to communicate, mentally process, and respond based on their personality type, the first step to more effective communication is to figure out WHO you are dealing with.
Personally, I am a big fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive and helpful personality information, and really helps with understanding how to deal with the various personality types.
Plan your approach to asking them to complete the assessment carefully, based on what you already know about the person.
If they aren’t familiar with it, explain to them that it is a relationship building tool that will help each of you communicate better when you understand the other person’s frame of reference. And, be willing to share your primary type with them up front and make it fun – like an adventure.
Most people are intrigued by personality theory and want to “learn all about themselves” anyway, so it’s rare to run across someone who will not “buy-in” to the process.
There are some out there, though who may become defensive or offended by the request. In that case, don’t push it; just observe them, study the way they interact and engage with others, then after a little while (and some trial and error) you can usually figure out what their style is based on their reactions and/or responses to varying circumstances.
Now that you know their personality type – what next?
After you discover their personality type, you can use this information to more effectively communicate with them.
If you aren’t already well versed in each of the primary types, then you can read up on them on-line. The Human Metrics Jung Typology Test will have some information after the assessment is complete that you can review. For deeper study, you can continue your search through on-line resources. Just type in the primary personality type in your preferred search engine (Google for me) and go to town learning all about them and their preferences.
How does this help with communication?
Once you learn about the personality type of the person you are communicating with, and they learn about yours, mutual understanding increases, and the approach in communication can be modified so you more evenly “gel with” each other.
If you like “cheat sheets”, I found a nice little quick reference guide from the Change Zone on Communicating with Different Personality Types.
You can download it HERE and keep it handy as a quick reference any time you need it:
Understanding the crucial components of communication can save you a lot of trouble in your relationships at home, in your business, and in your life. Taking the time to learn about people, and how to best interact with them is a critical business skill every leader must develop.
What techniques have you used to help improve communication in your home and business relationships?
I welcome you to share your thoughts and comments below so we can all learn from each other.
Dr. Krista Abbott is an Internet revivalist, author, speaker, creator, and coach spreading a message of love and hope. She is passionate about helping people discover and fulfill their purpose in life while equipping them with the resources they need to realize success. Through her business, Krista serves multiple international clients in the areas of publishing, writing, product development, social media management, internet marketing, and leadership training, as well as business and life coaching.
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