Speaking to individual people is thought to be an easy task. Are you being heard and understood? Talking to individuals is a complex thing. Everyone is unique and has something to contribute. The way we conduct ourselves will determine how we are perceived. It boils down to our ability to modify our behavior to allow our audience to feel safe so true communications and be done. We will go through some of the things that I have learned over the years. Some items I am still working on. Let’s get started.
Speaking to Individual People – Basic Rules
Julian Treasure in this June 2013 TED talk gives us some of the basic rules and sins to stay away from in speaking. He also lists some ideas in the toolbox that we can all learn to use. We as individuals need to change in order to speak more effectively.
Listen to be heard
Listening is a skill. I was always told ‘We have Two ears and One mouth… Listen to twice the amount we speak’. Active listening involves understanding what the other is trying to communicate. Do not interrupt the other person. Listen with an open mind. That is to think about what they are saying. Understand their point of view and opinions. Do not sympathize, empathize with the other person.
Communicate in the way in which the listener wants to communicate
There are several personality profiles that people can use to label individuals. Assessments like Meyers -Briggs and DISC profiling are good to establish and understand your own profile. These should be used only for your reference. Communication to other people involves speaking to them in the manner that they want. This is where your own personal judgment comes into play. You can divide everyone that you communicate with into four categories. They can be either more or less emotional than you and more or less dominant than you. We can plot this out like this: We communicate to the individual based upon how they are on this plot in our opinion only. If I was personally strong in dominant and less in emotional then everyone would that I would talk to would seem to me like the other 3 areas. I would adjust the way I communicate to them so it matches the way I perceive them.
So how do we communicate:
More Dominant / Less Emotional (Dominant)
We would speak direct and decisive. They are problem solvers, risk takers, and self-starters. Keep in mind that they have a high ego. There is only one way to get from Point A to Point B: That is a straight line.
More Dominant / More Emotional (Influencing)
We would speak enthusiastically and optimistic. They are trusting, persuasive, talkative and impulsive. Keep in mind that they want to be entertained. When asked how to get from Point A to Point B: They will ask ‘Who else is going?’, but will come up with an answer.
Less Dominant / More Emotional (Steady)
We would speak possessively and predictable. They are good listeners, team players, steady and friendly. Keep in mind that they are reliable, dependable, patient and good at reconciling conflicts. When asked how to get from Point A to Point B: They will ask what is the plan?
Less Dominant / Less Emotional (Correct)
We would speak accurate and precise. They are conscientious, careful, analytical and systematic. Keep in mind that they want to know everything about the issue before making a decision. When asked how to get from Point A to Point B: They would need more information.
Remember that people change all of the time. We need to adjust the way we speak to them based upon our current observations.
Watch on YouTube: Communicate in the way in which the listener wants to communicate
Observe the conversation on their side
We mentioned that we should empathize with the other person. This means that we put ourselves in the mind of the other person to determine the next step that they will take. Everyone has a picture of what they are thinking. We need to ensure that we understand their picture and possibly help them paint a masterpiece with our information.
Make people feel safe. You can do this by making everyone that you communicate with feel important. Think of it as a big, blinking neon sign on everyone’s forehead saying ‘Make me feel important’. Simon Sinek explains in this March 2014 TED Talk this same message.
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
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