Do you enjoy enjoy working in harmony with your colleagues at work? I believe you do. So am I.
I had an experience working with an ex-colleague who was so direct in her approach. On the other hand, I prefer to enjoy the working environment and get things done in the process.
In the initial stages, we had minor tiffs and disagreements. I felt there was a need to address this; else I would be going to work as if I was going to a battlefield everyday.
In theatre improvisation, there is a philosophy which says "Make Others Look Good." I contextualised this to the working environment where, in whatever we do, always make our colleagues look and feel good (no! This is not "carrying b*lls! Well, afterall, there is no harm in making others happy. In the Law of Universe, if we make other people happy, some other people will make us happy).
So I felt that, one way was to adapt my communication style to that of my colleague's. That helped to solve differences - which led to higher productivity.
If you are facing with similar situation, or know of anyone who does, here’s a quick 3-step method to help you get along well with your colleagues (or family members and friends).
Activate your “Empathy” and identify which behavioural style your colleague is.
Based on the research done by William Marston on behavioural styles, he explained that people demonstrated their emotions based on these 4 behavioural styles: Dominance (D), Influential (I), Steadiness (S) and Compliance (C).
D-style person exudes a direct and decisive behaviour. He/ She wants results or outcomes fast.
I-style person exudes a positive and optimistic outlook. He craves interaction with people.
S-Style person exudes a relaxed and “homey” approach. He/She does not usually share his/ her emotions but have a strong sense of loyalty and the need to serve others.
C-style person exudes his/her attention to detail and enjoys structured settings and sets of procedures to follow. Numbers, figures and data are C-style person’s favourites.
Adjust your communication and interaction style to suit the different groups of people to maintain a positive experience:
With a D-Style person – speak with directness, remain brief and straight to the point. Focus on the business and the results. Offer suggestions to solve the problems and maintain control.
With an I-style person - speak with enthusiasm and allow some form of social interaction before going down to business. Share information in a big picture format because I-style person is not too attentive to details. If possible, include humour in the conversations.
With an S-style person – speak with a relaxed pace and do not be alarmed when he/she keeps quiet most of the time – because S-style person prefers to listen than talking. If you would need any decisions from an S-style, give him/ her ample time to think and deliberate.
With a C-style person – speak direct and to the point with less small talk. If you would need any decision from a C-style person, provide him/ her with as much detailed information (such as facts, figures and data) as possible and allow him/ her time to weigh all things down.
Let the conversation flow with Step 1 in mind. Do note that there is no right or wrong way. The key word is to ADAPT to the personality and everything will go smoothly.
That’s a quick 3-step process. You can even contextualise this method in other settings, example at home or at networking session.
Did you manage to apply it? How did it go?
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
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The Speaking Factory is dedicated to help leaders and their teams unlock their potentials so they can connect, communicate and co-create effectively.
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