What’s Your Communication Style?
4 Communication Styles for Small Businesses
Communication is an essential part of the well-being of any business. The way you communicate with your team is directly related to how well your business performs. Poor internal communication can result in a significant loss.
Although poor communication might not hit your independent insurance agency as hard as a large business with thousands of employees, it will still have a negative impact. It could also prevent you from reaching your business goals.
Author Mark Murphy defined four kinds of communication styles. Which is yours?
If you have a love for facts, projections, and statistics, enjoy charts, and your decisions are all data-driven, this is you. These are great characteristics when certain choices require a little investigation. Analytical communicators tend to be perceived as too harsh or “heartless” by those who are more intuition or emotion-driven. They are also easily frustrated by decisions made without checking the numbers first.
Analytical communicators need to understand that not everyone is as systematic and analytical as they are. They need to allow others to know how the results of your research impact the business more visually. Keep your data handy, but don’t display it unless asked.
Those who are intuitive communicators like to get straight to the point, without getting into too many details or the step-by-step process behind it, unless it is necessary. They are focused, quick, and efficient, and do great at brainstorming. However, they might have some challenges when the situation does require to dig deep into the details.
For communication to be efficient, intuitive communicators need to recognize that other team members might need to understand the process behind the results. Coordinating meetings that start with a summary, then get involved in the details, is a great way to balance between what you need to hear, and what your team is interested in knowing.
People who love processes, tasks, timelines, etc. are considered technical communicators. They have excellent attention to detail and do a great job planning and reporting, which makes them fantastic project managers. They are also accommodating when making decisions as they consider risks and assumptions before taking the next step. However, others might find those precise details tedious or unnecessary and can quickly direct their attention elsewhere when a functional communicator is talking.
You can get the attention of the room by summarizing and focusing on the main idea and offering solutions rather than getting into past details.
Personal communicators are emotionally intelligent individuals. They rely on feelings and emotional connection more than facts. They are often called on to help resolve conflicts and be the intermediary in situations that could create tension. Sometimes, they can be overly emotional and could be frowned upon by people who are not on the same page emotionally.
Focus on building relationships with those who are willing and keep in mind that not everyone can be accessed through their emotions.
Every business, including your independent insurance agency, has different types of communicators who will enrich the office environment. Understanding each and learning how to work with them will make things run smoothly and allow you to work collaboratively in the same direction.