Connecting with Communication
We know how to communicate. We have a thought, we spot our listener, we open our mouth, and pour out the contents of that thought into our listener’s ear. We make an instant connection with one another. The listener hangs on our every word with respect and admiration, absorbs the intent of the thoughts we are conveying, behaves just as we are expecting, and acts upon that information exactly as we intend for them to. This process occurs every time, no matter what we’re speaking about or who we’re speaking with, right? No? You’re kidding! Well, it can’t be our fault!! What could be wrong with our communication process or style? Why didn’t the listener connect?
A Closer Look
Oftentimes, our miscommunication is the result of assumptions. We assume:
- the listener has interest in our topic
- the listener looks forward to our communication interactions
- the listener hears our message without distortions
- the listener understands the meaning of our message
- the listener is willing or wants to act on our message
- the listener speaks the same communication language that we speak
In a perfect world.
Can we achieve perfect communication or make our conversations utopian? Probably not, but we can get better at communications, gain understanding, connect, help the listener to be more receptive to our message, and we can deliver our message and thoughts in a way people want to hear them. Will this make the listener more eager to act on our ideas? Maybe, maybe not, but we will reach a new level of productive communication. What is this secret sauce? It’s not a sauce at all, but rather a tool that ‘s been around for many decades.
This tool is the DISC assessment. As you know, the DISC is a behavioral instrument that explains communication and behavioral styles. While we are a mix of all four styles, each of us is different and understanding another individual’s style can offer breakthroughs in communication that will open a floodgate of mutual respect and appreciation for one another. This helps enhance collaboration, produce better feedback, and the ability for individual’s and teams to achieve completion on projects and meet organizational goals.
What Can We Learn?
Looking at the four behavioral or communication styles, if the person you are having a conversation with speaks in a direct, somewhat forceful, and fast manner, you are probably speaking to someone with a dominant or high D style. They just want the facts and want you to be brief and be gone. Don’t take it personally, it has nothing to do with you but their impatience and the need to not be weighed down by details. So, prepare in advance, leave out all the fluff, get to the point, and be on your way or you won’t connect. This is a challenge for the high Is and the high Cs but learn to adapt and your life with be much more peaceful.
If you are having a conversation with someone who is talkative, uses their hands a lot when they talk, and never meets a stranger, you are probably talking to a high I. Build extra time into your meeting with them and be prepared to exchange pleasantries, and repeat items because of their short attention span. While their wish is to connect with everyone, that connection will not happen with other styles without a little adapting. If you’re a high D, pack your patience.
A conversation with a high S is better if having been announced ahead of time as they like time to prepare. Be sure to greet them and they would love it if you let them know about the added value they may bring to your life. It takes them a while to connect, but once that trust is built, you have a friend for life.
Bring your details if you’re talking with a high C, they want to hear them all. If you hold back, you’ll be inundated with questions. Cs love to ask questions. If they ask you what time it is, they don’t only want to know that, but they also want to know how the clock works, and why it works that way. Also, stick to the rules, policies, and procedures. Cs will think you’re a wild person if you ignore the rules, and they will connect, but don’t look for a warm and fuzzy connection. Don’t take it personally high Is.
Each of these styles bring value to the conversation, to a team, and to an organization. You could go so far to say that they bring about a check and balance to one another. If any one style gets carried away with his or her own style, then the other styles with help reel them in and a sense of balance will help maintain peace and harmony. This understanding and interacting allows the team to connect in ways that would otherwise be impossible.
Thank you for reading this blog. For more information on enhancing communication in your team or organization, Let’s Get Started!
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