The ability to communicate effectively in the workplace is essential, although it can be a challenge.

Every office is a kaleidoscope of personalities and opinions, and navigating this can be tough. Yet, taking the time to master the art of adaptive communication is crucial if you wish to progress through your career. It is valuable to find ways that you can engage with different personality styles, to assert your own communication style and to ensure others are aware of how to engage with you.

Here are some examples that might help… Imagine you have two colleagues; one who is lively, sociable and fun, has a wild imagination, and struggles to get bogged down with details (‘a dreamer’). The other is ‘a realist’; they enjoy logic and problem solving, they like structured approaches to plans with the details of the steps laid out clearly; they prioritise precision. So, how would you navigate this if these two contrasting personalities work in the same office space on the same projects? Especially if your personality and communication style fall somewhere in the middle. It’s important to adapt your own style, while also staying genuine.

When discussing work with the dreamer, explain the details but then step back and elaborate on the wider picture. You could perhaps use casual language and talk about the outcomes. Try to make sure you put the details and facts in writing for them to look over at a later date, rather than focusing on them in a verbal discussion. It’s important that you give them the freedom to express their optimism, ideas and emotions.

Then, when switching to discussions with your realist colleague, focus more on the nuts and bolts of the project. You could describe how and why the project is going to run – just make sure you are prepared to answer their questions. If you give clear guidelines on what they are expected to achieve, as well as giving them the space to do this, you should all benefit.

While doing this, it’s important that you remain true to yourself about your communication preferences; try and find the balance of demonstrating to your colleagues that you acknowledge and value their communication styles without compromising your own in the process.  

Companies like C-Me Colour Profiling, provide a valuable tool in helping identify your team’s communication styles, as well as providing suggestions on how to best communicate with them (and how best not to!).

If you or your firm are looking for help and advice around communicating with your clients, we can help – find out more by getting in touch with us.  

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