Haris Ahmed, Chicago Consultant On Communication Styles
Haris Ahmed of Chicago management consulting firm Pragmatium Consulting Group Inc. has helped countless clients streamline operations and improve the flow of processes. Read his blog below about communication styles and change:
Communicating change is never easy. Before you can finish a sentence, that feeling of dread would have already crawled up on your employees’ faces, which all but shuts down their ability to think rationally and to listen intently. While change in itself is often looked at as a negative thing, there are steps you can take to cushion the blow for your employees, one of which is getting to know your communication style and adapting it to the circumstance.
There are many thought leaders and communications experts who have each come up with their own assessments. For today’s blog, Mark Murphy’s 4 communication styles will be discussed. Note that Murphy’s assessment isn’t necessarily better than the rest. However, they do seem to have a broader application in the workplace.
The first communication style is Analytical. If you’re an Analytical communicator, you tend to stick to facts, figures, and other pertinent details, getting right down to the specifics. In the context of communicating change, this may not be the best style to deliver the message. Why? For one thing, numbers can stir fear in people. If there will be layoffs, for example, because some roles would be made redundant, then it would only come off as heartless to talk about people who are about to lose their livelihood in cold numbers.
The next style is Intuitive. Intuitive communicators, opposite to style of the Analytical communicator, look at the big picture. They prefer talking in broad strokes and are comfortable with big ideas. In this sense, an Intuitive communicator may find more success in delivering a message of change because they may be able to draw attention away from the pains in the short-term. For example, if a business will be using new software, the Intuitive communicator will look at the bigger picture and focus on the benefits of migrating.
The third style is Functional. If you tend to be methodical, and prefer to go about things step by step, then you’re a Functional communicator. Functional communicators may complement Intuitive communicators because they can lay out the small but important details that an Intuitive communicator can miss. Using the same example above, the Functional communicator here may elaborate on the ease and simplicity of using the new software, backing this up with manuals and teaching guides to make the transition smoother. This can let employees know that they are not going to be left to their own devices to adapt to the change.
Finally, the Personal communicator; a Personal communicator, like its name suggests, strives to build personal relations with others. Among the four styles, the Personal communicator may be in the best position to deliver the message of change. This is because sympathy or empathy will come naturally to them, which can help quell the fires of change. The Personal communicator can also be thought of as the “glue” that keeps employees’ morale high and together as the transition commences.
Stay tuned to this page to read more from Haris Ahmed of Chicago management consulting firm Pragmatium Consulting Group Inc.