The Problem. Tamara's boss did not listen to her. Over time she had developed a "no one hears me" thought pattern and viewed herself as a victim. As a result, she was not accomplishing what she wanted and not advancing in her career. Tamara was stuck in a rut. She needed to change something, but what?
The Coach's Solution. When Tamara told me about her frustration with not being heard, I suspected that she was right. Tamara was not speaking in a way that her boss could hear her. This is what can happen when people have communication styles that clash.
To help Tamara, I taught her about the 4 types of communication styles. Immediately, Tamara saw that her boss's style was the opposite of hers. Where he was more people focused, needing friendly chit-chat and emotional connection, she was more task focused, wanting to get down to business so she could move onto the next assignment. Where he liked a fast pace, a big-picture perspective, and a clear request so he could make a quick decision, she preferred a slower pace, a thorough understanding of details, and a chance to show how she derived her conclusions. Because of these style differences, Tamara's boss viewed her as being in the weeds, too analytical, and much too distant to align with. No wonder Tamara couldn't get through to him.
Once Tamara understood her boss's preferred communication style, she could change the way she interacted with him. She stopped being aloof and instead engaged in friendly banter. She no longer overwhelmed him with details, but gave him the bottom line of her research so he could make decisions quickly. She doubled her pace and deleted long pauses when speaking, and she made an effort to connect on a more emotional level by asking questions like, "What is your gut telling you?"
The Result. After learning how to adapt her communication style to her boss, Tamara no longer felt locked in conflict. She was finally being heard and beginning to build a new, more collaborative relationship. By applying what she had learned about communication styles, Tamara stopped being a victim and started being a partner in creating better results for herself, her boss, and her team.
Do you know the most effective ways for interacting with your boss, your peers, your clients? Do you know how to gear a presentation or a sales pitch to people with different communication styles? Do you know how to make yourself heard when it matters most?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then act now to learn what you need to know. Contact me for a conversation about communication styles, and learn strategies for increasing your influence on the people around you.