Tag Archive for communication styles

Assertive Communication at Work – How to Manage an Aggressive Colleague in 8 Steps

Assertive communication means you have the right to stand up for yourself while still respecting the rights of others. Aggressive behavior is when you believe you have rights but no one else does. Passive behavior is the opposite. You believe you have no rights but others do.

Assertive behavior is finding the balance between the extremes. Obtaining that balance isn’t always easy especially with aggressive or abusive co-workers.  Here are a few tips to help when a colleague slips into aggressive communication.

1. Recognize that your co-worker may be suffering from stress that isn’t visible to you. Problems in personal relationships, money woes, challenges with children, health issues or even the morning’s miserable traffic are examples of stressful events that can trigger abusive behavior.

2. Do nothing. Let your colleague vent as long as you are not in physical danger. If you sense an altercation is about to  escalate  remove yourself from situation–immediately. If you feel the need to say something try, “Bill, this is getting out of hand. I’m leaving now. I’ll check back in a short time and we can continue once we cool down. Avoid saying, “calm down.” Only a 911 operator should use that phrase.

3. Remember that the first wave of anger is probably not the last.  Use the pause  to clarify what you heard and understood. Calmly state, “If I understood you correctly…”  Your co-worker’s rage is usually associated Read more

Quick Method to Connect, Promote and Sell More to Your Customers and Prospects

Do you know who you’re talking to?

I mean can you determine who your customer or prospective customer is in the first 15-30 seconds?

Well, you can if you observe and listen carefully and understand a few key elements of each style.  Determining the “buying style” can help you connect quickly and open a conversation that relates to the way your customer likes to buy. Knowing this information will save you time, keep you from “annoying” your customer and help you promote and sell more.

I refer to this system as the M.E.G.A Method and call the four styles, Methodicals, Expansives, Governors, Agreeables.

Here’s 5ways to figure out the “buying style” and quickly shift the way you respond for maximum connection:

1.      Respect the Driving Principle

a.      Methodicals : Be Accurate at All Costs

b.      Expansives :  Get It Done and Have Fun

c.      Governors :  Do It My Way and Fast

d.      Agreeables : Consensus Before Action

2.      Know How They Make Decisions

a.      Methodicals:  All the Information, Deliberate

b.      Expansives: Enough Info  in an Entertaining  Way, Spontaneous

c.      Governors:  Bottom Line, Fast

d.      Agreeables: Relationship First, No Decision Until Agreement

3.      Observe to Connect  – Pace, Posture, Energy, Eye Contact

a.      Methodicals: Measured, Contained, Low, Little or None

b.      Expansives: Swift, Relaxed Confidence, Kinetic Energy, Direct

c.      Governors: Quick, Confident, Controlled High Energy

d.      Agreeables: Moderate, Relaxed, Medium, Polite

4.      Listen to Connect:  Rate, Tone, Pitch

a.      Methodicals: Slow, Monotone, Low

b.      Expansives: Very Quick, Friendly, Moderately Loud to Loud

c.      Governors: Fast, Demanding, Booming

d.      Agreeables: Moderate, Thin to Mid-Tone

5.      Know What’s Important for Them

a.      Methodicals: Best Value

b.      Expansives: Visibility

c.      Governors: Status

d.     Agreeables: Friends & Family

Put this into practice and watch how quickly your sales will grow.

Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? Share the knowledge but you MUST include the following: Allie Casey , Reinvention Specialist, can help you and your team ramp up your communication for more productivity  and profits and fewer misunderstandings and headaches. To get your F.R.E.E. audio course, more communication articles and information visit www.alliecasey.com.

Find more tips on workplace communication in Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work– What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up!

Avoid Misunderstandings at Work–Communicating with Confidence

Misunderstandings in the workplace are often the result of poor self-confidence. Confidence shows up first in your presence. In-other-words, your posture, the way you move, the way you stand and your energy.

What does all of this have to do with avoiding misunderstandings? The non-verbal message sent by slouchy shoulders, an unbalanced stance and a voice that lacks conviction can easily negate even the clearest verbal message…and that causes misunderstandings. Communicate like you mean it.

Consider the young manager who is not quite sure of herself as she attempts to give direction to her assistant. The request might be as simple as completing a report needed for a meeting. Her words might be clear  but her assistant might read her lack of confidence in her demeanor to mean…”if you have time to get it done.”

If you’re thinking this never happens, think again. The dog whisperer, Cesare Milan, tells dog owners that the conversation they are having in their in heads –positive or negative– translates to the energy a dog understands. The same thing occurs with humans, and no one knows this better than children. The mother who attempts to stop her child from an unwanted behavior by sweetly saying “no honey” in a voice that says  “I don’t really mean it” hardly gets the response she would like.

Communicating with confidence won’t eliminate all misunderstandings but it will help. What do you think?

For more communication tips pick up a copy of  Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work. You can get it by clicking the icon of the book on your right or at Amazon.con.

Communication Styles at Work–More Productivity with Less Misunderstanding

Learning to connect with all the communication styles in your workplace is the key to increased productivity.

Now I know you aren’t going to get along with everyone at every moment  and really, that’s a good thing.  Why? Because healthy conflict produces pearls (ask any clam!)

But let’s talk about those communication styles for a moment.  If you are familiar at all with communication styles then you have probably heard the them referred to as: Directors or Controllers, Amiables or Relators, Thinkers or Analyticals and Expressives or Sociables.

Even if you aren’t familiar the points below apply to everyone you interact with daily:

  • Respect the theme or driving principle for each style. Do they prefer to do things their way and quickly? Do they focus on accuracy at all costs? Do they prefer consensus before taking action? Or do they favor fun while getting things done? Go along with their theme while keeping your integrity intact.

  • Shift your style of communicating to meet theirs if you want to be heard. Bring your energy level up or tone it down and add detail or give the big picture depending on the style you’re communication with to increase your rapport.

  • To request action, to gather information communicate to each style’s preferred approach to work. Do they need the bottom line only or every last detail? Do they need cooperation and flexibility or do they want enough information to make a decision – not too much, not too little?

Support each style in the way they prefer saves you time, prevents misunderstandings and cultivates a cooperative workplace. Leave me your thoughts–what do you do to get along with others?

You can learn more about communication groups in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com. If you don’t need it get it as a gift for someone that can benefit from the message.

People Just Want to be Acknowledged and Appreciated

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated. ~ William James

It’s true that the number one motivator for employees is appreciation.  Whether you are motivating employees, students, co-workers or your children practice giving motivation that suits his or her’s learning style–auditory, visual and kinesthetic.

Take the time to “tell” the auditory person what you appreciate about them rather than sending an email, writing a note or even giving a gift. Hearing the words live and in-person really connects with the auditory. So get up and tell them in person. Or pass out fortune cookies stuffed with words of praise and have them read their good fortunes aloud.

Visuals love notes, plaques and anything they can both see and display for others to see. Keep those cards and letters coming. I used colorful, post notes to write short boldly colored words of thanks for my visual staff. They displayed them on their cupboards like a display of “first place” blue ribbons.

A pat on the back goes a long way for the kinesthetic people. They want to feel the love. A hug, handshake or high-five tugs at the heartstrings of these feeling folks.

Coworkers and clients will shift their attitude and raise morale. Everyone benefits.

Find more tips on communicating with your team in Allie’s book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Buy it now at Amazon.

Effective Communication Tips from Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work

LISTENING WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH AND EMOTIONS ARE RUNNING DEEP

One if the most difficult listening skills to master is the ability to allow another to vent completely before you offer advice, coaching, solutions or comfort. 

It takes fortitude to listen to complaints and grievances. 

The last thing most people want to do is ask a distraught or upset person if there is anything more they want to say….BUT , you must!

Yikes! Who wants to hear more whining, groaning, complaining or tales of woe.  As painful as it sounds, you must take the time to ensure the emotional storm has passed.

Jumping in to speak (even if there has been a long pause), before the last bit of sticky trash has come unstuck from the bottom of the barrel ensures you won’t be heard.  It’s  akin to  pouring clean water atop a thin layer of mud and expecting it to remain clean and  pristine. Not going to happen.

So you must ask, “Is there anything more?”  And if there is, you must listen and then ask again. Not until the answer is a resounding (even if whispered), “no–that’s it” can you offer your thoughts.

Try it. It works.

Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up is now available at Amazon. Pick up a copy and get your bonuses–today! In the meantime, get your FREE 6-part audio series, The Power of Effective Communication simply by entering your name and email in the box to your right.

Communication– The “Keep Your Cool” Formula – 3 Easy Steps

Sometimes it helps to have a quick formula that’s easy to remember, easy to post where you can see it and easy to implement. In touchy communication situations when emotions might thwart clear thinking try these 3 steps:

1. Observation – Observe the pace, voice, eye-contact and posture of your listener. Pay attention to emotions, intentions, and any mental or physical distractions. Match and step it down if emotions are high.

2. Adaptation – Shift your style to communicate in the way your listener likes to communicate. A small adjustment now saves time, money and effort later.

3. Confirmation – Verify that the translation and comprehension of your message matches your intention. (and be honest about your intention-is it aligned to your highest self?)

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Communication – The Power of the Pause!

Communication at Work: 3 Ways to Improve Communication and Avoid Misunderstanding

Probably everyone has experienced a misunderstanding, misinterpretation or a miscommunication at work. It seems that communication breakdowns are so common they are accepted as business as usual. Each time I ask someone if they have ever been misunderstood at work the answer is always yes– demonstrated with a shy smile, a nodding head and maybe rolling eyes. I suspect some guilt in those answers.

When I ask what the cost of such a misunderstanding might be the immediate response seems to trigger a train-of-thought ending in ‘aha’ moment. Suddenly, the real costs associated with even a simple miscommunication begin to appear like a magicians unending scarf trick. Loss of a customer today due to a misunderstanding could mean lost revenue in the future.  Loss of production time now might result in a missed opportunity later. Miscommunication with a co-worker might result in bad feelings, poor morale, less productivity or costly mistakes. In some professions the result of a misunderstanding can result in death.

Here’s how you can decrease misunderstandings and communicate more effectively:

1. Take responsibility for your communication. Whether or not you have initiated a conversation does not let you off the hook for confirming what was said and intended. Create a mind-set that releases you from being right so you have the opportunity to learn.

I recently encountered a sales clerk who refused to shift her thinking about a situation even when her supervisor explained why a garment I was returning had a different number than the receipt. As far as the clerk was concerned, I did not have a receipt and she proceeded to handle the transaction as such. This resulted in more issues, more time lost and a second round of a managers intervention. Not to mention my growing aggravation.

To the manager’s credit she did an excellent job of explaining what probably happened and after overriding a computer default she expected the return to be handled smoothly. Unfortunately, she failed to confirm the clerk’s interpretation of her message assuming she understood.

Responsibility means verifying that your message was interpreted as you intended.

2. Match your listener’s communication style. If you are a fast talker but your listener is slower paced they may miss what you are saying as they struggle to process your message. If your style is less direct and you prefer to use a lot of words when communicating you may find that someone with a direct style may lose interest, become distracted and misunderstand your message.

Observe your listener and adjust your style accordingly. If you are the receiver, listen from the speaker’s point-of-view and confirm what you’ve heard. Context is as important as content. Your frame of reference can easily distort a positive intention if it doesn’t match the speaker’s point of reference.

3. Handle a misunderstanding immediately. If something has gone wrong in the communication process open up the lines of communication as soon as possible. Often the result of a misinterpretation doesn’t come to the forefront until a further action has taken place. Rather than place blame, seek to rectify the situation and move forward.

The cost of misunderstandings is too big to ignore. Be a part of the solution by taking responsibility, shifting your style and handling misunderstandings quickly.

If you’re serious about improving your communication skills but don’t want to go back to school just pick up a copy of my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Do it now!

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How to Quickly Communicate with Anyone and Avoid Misunderstanding

1005753_jpear1earOne of the great understandings in life is the realization that not everyone thinks the same way that you do. And so it goes with communication.

Misunderstandings occur when you fail to communicate in the way others want to want to listen. The solution is to make a shift in your style that better matches the recipient. You do this by using words, intonation, pacing and gestures that resonant with them.

The challenge is to incorporate this into your daily communication.

Here are some guidelines for making a quick determination of communication style types:

  • When greeting someone for the first time, notice how quickly they move. Is it quick and determined or slower and relaxed?
  • What about their gestures? Are they sharp and staccato, animated, measured or barely visible?
  • Is their posture displaying confidence, timidity, friendliness or overload?
  • Do they appear approachable or inaccessible? Do they make direct eye contact or shy away?
  • What emotion does their face reveal? Do they have an easy smile and grinning eyes, a polite half-smile and concerned eyes, little or no smile with darting eyes or a resolute mouth and purposeful eyes?

You can begin to make changes in the way you approach and communicate with others by noticing these physical characteristics. Make it a game to observe the people you work with, on the street and at home.

Quickly shift your energy and physicality to better match theirs and watch what happens. Think of this as dancing with different partners. You don’t need to become someone else you simply need to learn how to move together so you glide smoothly across the room without stepping on each others toes.

The study of communication styles is exhaustive but if you apply this simple method you can begin to communicate with less effort and enjoy fewer misunderstandings.

If you would like to learn 29 more tips and techniques just grab your FREE 6-part audio series on “The Power of Effective Communication” by putting your name and email in the boxes on your upper right.  Or simply pick up a copy of Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work-What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it today at Amazon.