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Workplace Communication Part 3 of 7: Style

Updated on March 15, 2012
Think calm to communicate.
Think calm to communicate. | Source

As unique individuals we each express ourselves distinctively. Most conversations drift with only some intention. In business, this is wasteful; the goal should be to communicate rather than chatter. To ensure an efficient and effective work conversation, there are three considerations:

  • You must make your message understood.
  • You must receive and understand the message sent to you.
  • You should exert some control over the flow of communication.

To achieve a successful conversation:

  1. Repeat Back. For example, you might say "let me see if I have understood correctly, you are saying that ..." and you rephrase what the speaker has said.
  2. Write Back. You could take this further; write it down and send it to everyone involved.
  3. Give Background…for context. By adding information, you can provide a broader context in which your words can be understood. This leaves less room for alternative interpretations.

It is important to recognize that even when these basic rules are followed they will be received in different ways. Consider the audience, every audience. Each person has a different approach to interacting with the world. In order to adapt your approach for the greatest effectiveness, personal communication style should be considered.

Reflect on the importance of creating an individual communication method with each person based on your anticipation of their traits. Also consider the ease of each work day if the time you spend communicating can be substantially reduced with certain changes to your current methods, especially for those where conflict may already be an issue.

While each person may not fully fit into a single “box”, it can still be helpful to take a look at the people around you and categorize them into a type. Place yourself in a category. You can find additional charts by searching "communication styles", but here is a helpful chart:


COMMUNICATION STYLES

 
ENTHUSIAST
CONTROLLER
CONSORTER
ANALYST
POSITIVE TRAITS
Excited
Decisive
Helpful
Methodical
NEGATIVE TRAITS
Reactive
Controlling
Withdrawn
Too methodical
THEIR FOCUS
Who
What
Why
How
THEY LIKE
Recognition
Results
Relationships
Activity
THEY DISLIKE
Too many boring details
Decisions without input
Impersonal treatment
Making mistakes, being unprepared
WHAT'S IMPORTANT
Feelings, using intuition
Time, being efficient
Relationships, friendships
Getting it right, understanding
PERSONAL NEEDS
Recognition, to move ahead
Goals, results, to prevail
Relationships, to care, be cared for
To be busy, have results, paced movement
WILL IMPROVE WITH
Structured movement, recognition
Working in a team
Goals, structure
Communication tools, personal interaction
BEST WAY TO RELATE
Be excited, be inspirational
Let them do things their way
Care, provide details
Provide data, help track results

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