Effective Communication Tip: Assess & Accommodate Your Co-Worker's Styles

Posted by Matt Kanaskie on May 29, 2019

A group of coworkers sitting and standing around a table communicatingHave you ever noticed how the same discussion, explanation or recommendation can be received very differently depending on who you’re speaking to? Or, have you ever found yourself using different phrasing when speaking to one person or another? People interpret and respond to the world in different ways, and the more you understand an individual, the more effectively you’ll communicate with them.

Learning the ins-and-outs of interpersonal communication isn’t always easy, especially in a workplace setting. It can take months, or even years, to get to know your co-workers' preferred communication styles. Working in separate departments or having varied leadership levels can further complicate the process.

Resources for Assessing Effective Communication

There are multiple tools already available for assessing and recommending improvements for workplace communication. These assessments are commonly used for career counseling, team building, professional development, marketing, leadership training, job coaching and personal development. They're also great for improving workplace interactions, because they provide insights into the inner-workings of individuals, and ways to effectively communicate with them.

DiSC Profile for Workplace Communication

DiSC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness; the four behavioral types tested for during a DiSC assessment. A DiSC profile tells users which behavioral types are most dominant, as well as how the types interact with each other.

Dominance

  • Big Picture Minded
  • Blunt
  • Direct
  • Accepts Challenges

Influence

  • Enthusiastic
  • Optimistic
  • Collaborative
  • Dislikes Being Ignored

Conscientious

  • Independent
  • Objectively Reasons
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Fear of Being Wrong

Steadiness

  • Calm Manner & Approach
  • Supportive
  • Has Humility
  • Moves at Own Pace

Knowing an individual’s DiSC profile provides insight into how they receive and process information. Armed with this knowledge, you can adjust your approach to ensure a more receptive audience.

MRA Profile for Workplace Communication

A Management Research Associates (MRA) profile includes three separate assessments, all of which provide different information.

  1. The Leadership Matrix involves a personal inventory and characterizes how an individual sees themselves and how they believe others see them.
  2. The Measure of Practical Judgment measures an individual’s ability to apply their knowledge in new situations, and their ability to recognize the feelings of others in decision making.
  3. The Wonderlic Personnel Test assesses an individual’s ability to receive, absorb and utilize new information.

An MRA profile provides solid insights into the ways individuals respond to challenge, leadership, struggle, success and change. With an understanding of MRA profiles, you can move beyond treating others how you want to be treated, and instead treat them how they would like to be treated. An MRA profile is especially helpful for management teams or supervisors to better understand the individuals working under them.

Myers-Briggs Test for Workplace Communication

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a questionnaire designed to determine how an individual perceives the world and makes decisions. MBTI is based around the belief that there are four psychological functions humans use to interact with the world, and that the way these interactions materialize depends upon whether an individual presents as introverted and extroverted. This technically means MBTI comprises 8 individual traits, grouped in pairs.

MBTI is most useful as a classification tool. It assesses an individual’s type or preferences, but it does not assess each type’s strengths or abilities. MBTI results are often used when deciding what sort of career or industry path to follow. Different types represented within the same industry can lead to misunderstandings and friction, but more commonly leads to healthy and stimulating diversity.

Putting Effective Communication into Practice

Determining which assessment tool is best for your business depends upon your organization or staff's specific needs and concerns. Fostering strong workplace communication provides your staff with tools for success. Supporting effective communication leads to improved employee engagement and productivity, which are two things money cannot buy. 

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Topics: Culture, Business Services, Communication