Carolyn B. Thompson
Training Systems, Inc.
12 Landscape Lane
Camdenton MO 65020
Communicate With Others The Way They Communicate Best
by: Carolyn B. Thompson & Robin Vance
Did you ever have an employee not understand what you asked them to do, or
a customer that resisted buying no matter what you said? Have you found
yourself in verbal struggles with someone over an issue, not being able to
convince them of the merits of your idea?
Whose job is it to communicate effectively with co-workers, customers,
staff, and bosses? Yours! Recognize how the other person likes to
communicate and modify your way of talking with them to fit theirs. You'll
sell more, get more done, and have far more enjoyable interactions with
Remember the golden rule? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto
you"? Many of us, as children, learned this model for good behavior and
applied it to our communication. Later in life I learned a similar rule...
one which is infinitely more effective:
The Platinum Rule:
"Do unto others as they would like to be done unto"
This simple principle revolutionized my communication. Let's look
at/approach it this way. In communication you have two parties, a sender
and a receiver. The result of any communication is... the response you
get. If you don't like the response, change the message. Now, there are
numerous ways you can use to modify your communication. I've discovered
applying the Platinum Rule works like magic. But how do you determine how
people want to be communicated to?
Here's a simple framework that's both quick and effective. Most people
fall into one of 4 communication styles.
The first communication style is people who are always Direct and Results
Oriented. I had a wonderful client named Dave who was a classic
representative of this group. He is a no-nonsense, give it to me straight
kind of communicator. After a few interactions where I observed Dave
struggling to be patient while I got to the point. I learned to distill my
message and speak directly in terms of actions and results. If you have
the opportunity to observe their work or home environment, you're likely
to find these people are Spartan and well organized.
The second style is the Relationship Communicators. These people have lots
of family photos on the desk and a drawer with everything from Band-Aids
to teabags, just in case. They thrive on connecting with and caring for
people. They want to know your life story and will tell you theirs if
given the slightest opportunity. For many of us all the "chatter" may seem
too personal and a waste of time. Usually though, a little time spent with
this type of communicator is a good investment. Ask about their family,
share a little something about yourself. Once the alliance is made,
relationship communicators are fabulously loyal.
Another style is the Analyzer. This group of people revel in facts and
figures, and won't do something for you simply out of loyalty, because
they, like Mr. Spock, are driven by logic. Be wise and provide these
individuals with details, specifics and well thought-out reasons if
you want to engage them in any activity. My favorite tip when selling to
these commanders of data is leave them with printed pages of facts and
statistics that they can review and evaluate at their leisure.
Finally, there's the Enthusiast, the person who loves great new ideas.
They tend to be expressive and dramatic, use lots of gestures and make
great cheerleaders for your ideas as well as their own. To win the
enthusiast over, go for big pictures instead of loading them down with
facts and figures, then muster up as much enthusiasm, energy, and color as
you can and charm their socks off.
Give it a try. Design your communication around the preferences and
expectations of your receivers. With a bit of practice, you'll see a
dramatic increase in your communication effectiveness!
Carolyn B. Thompson is the President of Training
a customized training & HR consulting company that helps small and
medium sized organizations enhance their ability to recruit, inspire, and
retain quality employees and improve performance through training. Training
Systems, Inc. also provides
training design and delivery services to training companies and the
training departments of large companies, and professional and trade
organizations. Carolyn is an exciting, experienced, and inspirational
trainer who leads people to learn, and a knowledgeable consultant in the
employee recruitment, inspiration, and retention. Carolyn’s produced a
two-tape audio tape set based on her radio show, Straight Talk for
Employers; the worksheet, Ten Steps to Determining the Return on
Your Training Investment; written & published the book, Creating
Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively, and written Interviewing
Techniques for Managers and The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush.
She’s written articles for prominent magazines, been interviewed for
Chicago’s TV Channel 26, the ‘You’re Hired’ radio show, and
written chapters in several books. Carolyn is also the editor of the
monthly publication, Recruit, Inspire and Retain.
Robin Vance is a Training Systems, Inc.,
Designer and Facilitator
specializing in communication and facilitator skills.
The Platinum Rule™ is a registered trademark of Dr.
Tony Alessandra. Used with permission.
(c) Training Systems, Inc.