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 accurate communications and be done. We will go through some things I have learned over the years. Items I am still working on. Let’s get started.
Speaking to Individual People – Basic Rules
We as individuals need to change to speak more effectively. 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.
Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen
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 suitable for establishing and understanding your profile. These should be used only for your reference. Communication with other people involves speaking to them how they want. This is where your 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 were personally strong in dominance and less emotional, then everyone I would talk to would seem to me like the other three areas. I would adjust how I communicate to match how 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 optimistically. 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 predictably. They are good listeners, team players, steady and friendly. Remember, 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 the plan is.
Less Dominant / Less Emotional (Correct)
We would speak accurately and precisely. They are conscientious, careful, analytical, and systematic. Remember that they want to know everything about the issue before deciding. 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 other person’s mind to determine the next step they will take. Everyone has a picture of what they are thinking. We must understand their vision and 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 this in this March 2014 TED Talk this same message.
Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe
If you have any questions or need further information, please get in touch with me.
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