Win-Win Communication

Recognizing another’s communication style takes practice.  Matching that style will increase your communication effectiveness.  You’ll get through and get action.

First, you have to listen to what other people say.  What key words and phrases do they use? For example:

  • Is the tone of their conversation “full steam ahead” and “get to the bottom line”?  Do they want to know who is in charge—who the key players are? Then you need to match their style with an approach that focuses on opportunity, the essentials, and how one can get started.  Behavioral diversity demands that we become active listeners.
  • Is their viewpoint often laced with sayings like “I’ll believe it when I see it!” or “Better safe than sorry”?  Do they want to know the historical perspective—how and where its been done before? Match that communication style with a conversation that is logical and analytical, organized and systematic. You may be happier talking about opportunity but if they listen for structure, all your enthusiasm for the opportunity will be lost in their worry.

Second, focus on what they do. Do they influence others based on principle? Do they make allowances for others?  Do they want to be working on the most relevant project?

You can best communicate with people who prefer this style by focusing on the “rightness” of what you are proposing. Ask for their help while assuring them that you trust and value their input.

Active “listening” takes many forms: catching words and phrases, watching behaviors, hearing the kinds of questions asked, and reading between the lines.


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