Proper Communication Key to Job Success
Ever wondered why some leaders inspire or why some people always get the job they interview for? Much of it comes down to communication.
Whether you're a career executive or in career transition, strategic communication skills are essential. As a rule, all skilled communicators adapt their message to the audience. Many do this instinctively, but strategic communication can be learned.
There are four dominant communication styles in the contemporary workplace: the Expert, the Achiever, the Communitarian and the Holist. Each style uses and responds to different language.
Experts think and speak in terms of right and wrong. They are linear, logical and precise. When communicating with an Expert, speak in clear, concrete language.
Achievers are action- and results-oriented. When communicating with an Achiever, use strong and bold language that appeals to their competitive nature.
Communitarians value teamwork and inclusion. Speak to them about shared vision and co-ordinated efforts.
The Holist is interested in the big picture and how the pieces fit together. They connect ideas and look toward the future. They respond to conceptual, analytical exchanges.
So how do you recognize each type? First, pay attention to how your counter-party responds to questions and situations. The words someone uses tend to reveal how they think and what they value. Accurately identifying communication types allows you to better tailor your message.
When interviewing for a new job or meeting a new client, gather essential information. The industry, department and position a person works in can help you narrow down their style. A sales professional for a hedge fund will likely speak like an Achiever, for example.
Great leaders communicate across all styles. They speak with the vision of the Holist, the shared purpose of the Communitarian, the action of the Achiever and with the responsibility of an Expert. Or in the words of Nelson Mandela "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
Strategic communication is a skill that can be learned and refined once you understand the different expectations of your audience.