We all have strengths and weaknesses. What's right for you might not be right for me. Many times, our behavior doesn't make any sense to others. So, what's behind these differences? Personality.
Your personality plays a paramount role in how you communicate in your career and personal life. Learning more about your own personality type and others will help you to improve your role in having a positive relationship with those who think differently. Let's explore some of the preferences of your unique communication style according to your personality traits.
Based upon the personality assessment tool known as Myers Briggs which has been used by millions of organizations throughout several decades, read on to learn more about your unique preferences, tendencies and characteristics.
Elizabeth P. Cipolla
Your energy source: are you an introvert or an extrovert?
After a stressful work week, how do you recharge your batteries? If you're an extrovert, you collect energy from being with other people. You reboot by talking, sharing your experiences and venting your feelings. On the other hand, if you're an introvert, you collect energy by having private time to yourself. In fact, you probably feel drained after being in groups, and need time alone in order to be able to socialize well.
If you're an extrovert, you can communicate more effectively with an introvert by giving them a chance to warm up to you before jumping into an animated discussion. Introverts are often unfairly labeled by extroverted communicators as disengaged or anti-social when in fact that isn't true at all. Allow an introvert time to think before responding or decision making, and encourage their participation with questions like, "What do you think?"
As an introvert, you can communicate more effectively with an extrovert by showing energy and enthusiasm during conversation. Allow an extrovert time to think out loud and bounce around ideas without definite conclusions being reached immediately. An extrovert also appreciates a communication partner who responds quickly without long pauses to think.
Your perceiving function: are you a sensor or an intuitive?
When trying to make sense of a complex situation, how do you sort through the details to see the big picture? If you're a sensor, you seek immediate and apparent data to analyze before reaching a decision. If you're an intuitive, you come to a conclusion after deep thought and a gut feel.
As an intuitive, you can communicate more effectively with sensors by showing factual evidence, being logical as opposed to conceptual, and having a well thought out plan developed in advance. If you're a sensor, you can communicate more effectively with intuitives by presenting ideas and general concepts first, then drawing out the details. Be patient with a sensor because they are visionary thinkers who need time to dream and use their imagination.
Your decision making function: are you a thinker or a feeler?
What do you base your decision on when it's time to reach a difficult verdict? If you're a thinker, you prefer to stick with your first decision which is based on logic, and dislike the fuzziness of "grey" thinking. If you're a feeler, you prefer to decide based upon the feelings and impact on others.
As a feeler, you can communicate more effectively with thinkers by using ample logic, and presenting feelings or emotions as additional facts to be weighed in a decision, not as the primary focus. If you're a thinker, you can communicate more effectively with feelers by showing how their idea will affect people. Let a feeler talk about personal impact and accept decisions that may not be based entirely on facts.
Your approach to life: are you a judger or a perceiver?
Do you prefer to approach life in an organized and planned way, or do you like to keep your options open? If you're a judger, you like to have a sense of structure with goals and plans to get results in a predictable way. If you're a perceiver, you find structure to be more limiting than helpful and prefer to remain open to options so unexpected glitches are easier to address.
As a perceiver, you can communicate more effectively with a judger by sticking to a deadline, allowing time to prepare, and itemizing progress milestones. If you're a judger, you can communicate more effectively with a perceiver by allowing time for new ideas and possibilities. Encourage independent thinking and understand that a change in direction is not necessarily impulsivity.
This week, challenge yourself to get to know who you are as a communicator. Understand those you lead. Break out of your comfort zone and stretch your communication muscles.
Elizabeth P. Cipolla, SPHR is a business communications professional specializing in the areas of leadership training, creative recruitment strategies, employment branding, professional development and executive coaching for nearly 15 years. Her leadership experience comes from various industries including marketing, mass media, apparel, education, manufacturing, nonprofit agencies and insurance. To contact Elizabeth, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her company's website at www.changeagentsee.com.