Effective Conversations - Part 1
Posted on August 17, 2010 by Julie McCahan, One of Thousands of Career Coaches on Noomii.
There are 4 unique conversation styles. Which one are you? How do you have great conversations with those who are different than you? Here's Part 1.
Bridge the Conversational Gap: Part 1
This is the first in a series of 4 unique conversation styles. Each style can be identified by observing how a person speaks. During the conversational series you will be introduced to Dan, Emily, Susan and Ralph; each one illustrates one of four conversational styles.
The four conversational styles have unique characteristics.
• Dominance communicates with authority. It is a take-charge, competitive, and talks in terms of risk taking.
• Extroversion is people-oriented, outgoing, empathetic, motivating and enthusiastic. This person often suggests new ideas and ways to do things.
• Pace is dependable, thorough and persistent; often speaks in a way to bring harmony and peace to a conversation.
• Conformity is procedural, precise and systematic. This conversational style will speak cautiously; will bring in all the details.
Today let’s meet Dan; a take-charge type of guy. Dominance is Dan’s primary conversational style.
Dan is a director at a software company where he has risen through the ranks by being known as the “go-to” guy and problem solver. He now leads a team of nearly 50 people; 3 managers who each manage 15 software developers, project managers and testers.
Dan holds weekly staff meetings with his managers to insure all development projects are on schedule. The meetings are short, to-the-point with Dan saying important points only once; he does not want to repeat himself. The managers know Dan is in control and have given him a nick name, “Supreme Commander.” He expects all projects to run on time and be on budget.
Although Dan has strong opinions about the software development process, he welcomes comments from those who disagree with him. He appears to welcome any disagreement and goes into “competitive mode” to battle out the differences. Less reticent managers and software engineers quickly back off, trying to keep the peace.
Dan firmly believes in being accessible to everyone in his department. His door is always open and he welcomes engineers, testers and project leads to stop in anytime. But he becomes impatient with lengthy explanations; he expects team members to be concise when bringing a problem to his attention. Dan is definitely the consummate problem-solver – no challenge is too great for his competitive nature.
Does this description match your style? Or is Dan the type of person you avoid because you are friendly and welcome lengthy discussion about ideas? Or do you feel it is far more important to take time to work on the details, and then think it over before making a final decision. Or maybe you want clear, detailed direction from Dan rather than a quick, “tell it like is” overview direction.
How do you talk with Dan when your style is different? Realize that Dan wants direct, to-the-point messages. It is not necessary to repeat points or give lengthy explanations. Dan does not tolerate what he perceives to be trivial interruptions. Bring problems to Dan; he loves the challenge of solving any issue or problem. Above all else, he wants to see results; share progress with Dan.
What if you are Dan? Be sensitive to others who want full explanations and details. Modify your conversations to accommodate those who do not like conflict. Sometimes you may need to slow your pace to match their pace; this approach pays dividends for you! Give others time to think about new ideas; tell them you’ll get back to them later for their input – they’ll love you for it!
To find out more about your communication profile and how to bridge the gap with those different than you, send an e-mail to Julie@reachthesummitcoaching.com