We all know that clear and open communications in business is essential for relationships to thrive and succeed.
However this isn’t always the case. Communication breakdown is a common failure in business and one of the reasons is the effects of mismatched communication styles.
The natural way you communicate is called your communication style. Communication styles are the ways people tend to communicate with one another. And are broadly split into four categories: passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive and assertive.
What is your communication style?
Do you want to dramatically improve your relationships with others? Then the key is really understanding communication styles. And that’s not only the communication styles of your colleagues, managers, stakeholders or clients but your own natural style too.
Because your level of skill at navigating conversations depends on how effectively you connect with others. And how effectively you do that, depends on how well you understand how others like to communicate and how well you can flex your own style to match theirs.
Why does communication fail?
When communication breaks down it’s often the result of the patterns and habits of how we communicate (our communication style) just getting in the way.
The way we feel comfortable communicating is our natural style and it’s sometimes difficult to stray far from this. But if you want to develop better relationships with your customers and contacts it’s really important to be able to communicate in an effective but authentic way in every interaction.
Time to flex your style
You need to understand how to flex your natural style to meet the communication needs of the person you’re talking to quickly whatever the environment or situation. Being able to effectively vary your behaviour and use different approaches and techniques to engage more effectively with different business “types”.
That might feel an impossible ask, but remember that your communication style is a choice. And contrary to what most people think, your communication style isn’t fixed in stone.
Easier than you think
All your colleagues and customers have different personalities, and different personalities require different communication styles. To effectively communicate (and sell) is all about building rapport and rapport leads to trust and then ability to sell your idea.
To do so effectively you need to be able to communicate with prospects and clients on their level. Any other way may frustrate and grate with that individual and hamper your ability to build rapport and execute on your goal.
Be more chameleon
If you want to be better at building rapport you must understand how others like to communicate. Don’t just communicate in the way you prefer – you need to be a “chameleon” and be able to flex between the communications styles effortlessly and build a good rapport with key stakeholders.
Trust changes everything
This is the main reason why making effective communication behavioural choices are so important. Why trust someone’s idea when you do not trust that person to communicate clearly and authentically with you?
Need more support?
If you need more support with how to flex your communications style our Influence & Flex performance area includes a variety of modules that could really help, including: