Sunday 26 August 2012

Communication styles

Have you ever wished someone hadn't come to see you and had sent you a one page overview instead, or wished you hadn't been sent a one page summary and wanted to see the full report - appendices and all, or just wished instead of being sent an email with attachments they'd have picked up the phone, or even better come to see you?

We all have preferences for how we prefer to be communicated to and generally we'll assume people we're communicating to like it the way we do and present it to them accordingly. However that won't always be successful because we're all different.

That is we all have preferences in how we want to receive the information:
  • visually, auditorally or kinaesthetically (in diagrams for example)
and what the information contains:
  • detail or not 
  • what we'll achieve by doing something or what we'll avoid instead
  • similarity to or difference from what we're already doing 
  • why we're doing it, what it's all about or how we'll achieve it
  • And so on
All of these preferences will affect the method we should use to communicate to someone and what style and type of content is most likely to influence or persuade them of what we're saying.

There are questionnaires you can complete to give you a better understanding of your own preferences and the impact this can have on your relationship at work. Or you can simply use your senses and observe yourself and others to see what works best. Someone's language can provide a lot of useful information on this - although interestingly so too can their body language, tone and breathing!

One book that covers this in more detail is Words That Change Minds: Mastering the Language of Influence. Although do also give me a call to discuss how this can be applied to your stakeholder relationships - +44 (0)7770 538159.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for effective communication in Purchasing  

This post is part of a series introducing some NLP tools and techniques that can significantly improve your stakeholder engagement, communication and team working.

Picture source: via Alison on Pinterest

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