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Effective Communications Takes An Open Mind, Patience and Tolerance

by Richard Avdoian

Let’s face it: Effective communication is incredibly important in all facets of our lives. As you are well aware, not everyone communicates or participates in conversations in the same way. This can negatively impact the outcome of meetings, negotiations, family disputes and daily interactions with customers, colleagues and the general public. 

 These different approaches or styles of communicating are so different that it is no wonder misunderstandings and conflicts often occur. 
Having an understanding of another individual’s thought process, feelings and experiences requires taking a moment to relate to their personal frame of reference. With this basic understanding, it is imperative that we continually maintain an open mind and be tolerant and inclusive, remembering that communication is a two-way process and that this results in positive, productive outcomes.

Investors are those individuals who are interested and actively engaged in the discussion. They are likely to ask questions while trying to relate to and understand the points of view of others. They tend to be the group mediator if the discussion gets out of hand and serve as the translator, often offering a repackaging of an apparent misunderstood comment made by others. Investors contribute comments similar to “Am I correct in understanding what you mean, that you think the best course of action is...” or “I believe Mark’s comment is in line with the comment made by Karen earlier.”

Analyzers or thinkers are individuals who are typically quiet and often overlooked. They are actively listening and observing until they have the full picture of the issue at hand.  When they have digested the information and feel comfortable, they will ask a few probing, well-crafted questions. Once it is apparent the questions are well-received, they will offer more detailed feedback and explanations of their opinions and suggestions. Analyzers may make a comment like “Does it sound reasonable…” or “Could this be what’s going on….”

Ambassadors, by contrast, tend to set the tone of the interaction and communicate more often than most throughout a meeting. They tend to interject jokes and could drift frequently from topic to topic. They can consume vital time if not redirected. They can also be effective in drawing in all participants to a conversation.

Then there are those take-charge individuals who like to control and direct all communication. Typically, they take the reins of a conversation or meeting by communicating in short, blunt, task-oriented comments at the start to set the interaction in motion. Unlike the others, they are concerned about the details, having a clear agenda and keeping the discussion on track and on time.

So, if you really want to be an effective communicator and minimize conflicts, misunderstandings and stalemates, invest time in listening to and observing how others communicate. Encouraging and respecting the different styles of communicating will maximize the sharing of key solutions and needed feedback, resulting in positive outcomes.

Richard Avdoian is president/CEO of the Midwest Business Institute Inc., a business consulting and training firm.  For information about training and seminars, contact Richard at 618-972-8588 or Richard@RichardAvdoian.com.

 

Submitted 7 years 24 days ago
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