Communicating at work often resembles a sitcom where coworkers are characters and the story is driven by misunderstandings. Every sitcom from I Love Lucy to Seinfeld to Modern Family are great examples of misunderstandings resulting in humor and a tidy ending.
In reality, misunderstanding with the characters (I mean co-workers) you work with often doesn’t end with a happy conclusion. The good news is that your coworkers may be identifiable as the characters in a good story. Once you get to know them, you’ll be able to anticipate a certain amount of predictable behavior. Think Seinfeld’s Kramer–you always expect his cockamamie logic to some mundane situation.
So how does this help you? Well, learning how to talk these character types (or communication styles) will help you get your point across more effectively so that cooperation and collaboration becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Ask these questions and notice these distinctions and shift your approach, and your chances of getting cooperation increases.
1. What motivates them?
2. What do they seek?
3. What do they fear?
4. What is important to them?
5. How do they behave under stress?
Create a game for yourself and see if you can created a profile of each of the people you work with and for–and then decide how you need to shift your behavior to connect with them.
What’s your experience?
This post is an excerpt from Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Order your copy today and learn more about behavior styles.