With more workforces working remotely through the COVID-19 epidemic, EANE has heard from many members who are still struggling to bridge communication gaps. Productive communications require clear delivery and reception of information – ideally in both directions. In other words, a well-communicated message isn’t just about delivering useful information, but delivering it in a manner that the recipient can digest the information and put it to use.
For this reason, so many leaders have learned the secret that allows communications to be productive, requires adjusting our delivery to meet the needs of those we’re sharing the information with. This is a task that takes some practice.
Today, we’re flexing new communication muscles to implement those individualized messages. We may have already mastered the minor tweaks for effectively communicating with our direct teams, but many of us are still trying to master the customized communication approaches that will provide the best outcomes with members of other departments or team leads that we may not work with on a regular basis. We connected with Kim Laughlin from Cultural Apex Coaching to ask her about the ways that we can improve our communications during this unprecedented time.
Recognize The Personality Differences Of Your Audience
Kim reminded us that we took time to get to know the personality traits of our own team members before we became remote working teams. Strong leaders are continuing to invest in the process of getting to know those team members now. With video conferencing, we may be meeting their pets or family members and getting a better view into what makes them tick.
When we start virtual communications with someone outside of our regular daily operations, it is important to watch for the signs that they give about their own personality styles so that we can improve communication by meeting them where they’re at. At Cultural Apex Coaching, Kim teaches her clients to look for the character traits of these four distinct personality types.
- Likes to be in control
- Takes quick action and like to see results
- Gets to the point and require little direction
- Likes autonomy and taking risks
- Task focused self-starters
- Likes public recognition
- Loves information
- Enjoys reading and presenting their findings in detail
- Needs to mentally rehearse before presenting
- Takes their time making decisions, but are firm in their final choices
- Desires clear structure with specific goals to accomplish the tasks at hand
- Likes acknowledgment, but won’t ask for it
- Verbal thought processors
- Interrupts when they’re excited, but it’s intended to drive conversation (not to be a disruption)
- May need help to stay on task
- Desires social interaction
- Helps others get through challenges
- Wants to fix whatever they perceive to be broken
- Consistent and reliable when they know what’s expected
- Doesn’t volunteer their own opinions
- Likes working with others and invests in the process of building relationships
- Likes being asked about their thoughts
- Appreciates personal recognition, but not in public
- Is flexible and adaptable when they understand why changes are beneficial
See what Kim shared with us about the easy ways we can pick up on these signals from the people we need to work with even when our communication is virtual.
By being a communication chameleon (adjusting our communication approach to meet the needs of those we’re trying to connect with) we will find that our virtual communications can be just as effective as our in-person communications.