Communication is a message conveyed with words, body language, vocal inflections, and personal space and the meaning understood by the recipient. Problems occur when the message received is not the message sent. What’s My Communication Style assesses and identifies a person’s dominate communication style. It outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the four styles: Spirit, Direct, Systematic and Considerate. Knowing which style you are comfortable with and which styles you need to improve upon will increase the effectiveness of your communication.
This assessment was enlightening because I scored relatively close on three of the four styles.
After reviewing the details of each style, I see myself in those three characteristics. I scored 8, 7, and 6 on Spirited, Considerate and Systematic respectively. Therefore, I maintain my dominate style is Enthusiastic and adapts based on my audience. The positive aspects of a spirited style are persuasiveness, enthusiasm and working at a fast pace. Similarly, the considerate style listens well, values relationships and builds trust.
I think all of these qualities are essential in project management. For example, at work I always ask how people’s families are or how their weekend went before we start a planning meeting.
I listen to what each department thinks is the most important needs and tasks to be addressed during the project. Above all though, I want to gather all the facts before we get started and then decide how we are going to proceed. When problems arise during the project, I listen to each responsible department to see what they think went wrong, make my own assessment and then make plans to correct and put the project back on plan. To strengthen my spirited style, I need to focus on including everyone better so they feel like a more substantial part of the team. One trouble spot that I would like to work on is my organization skills.
I’ve noticed that I gloss over the less important details if they are not written down on my to do list. Glossing over the details usually means mistakes that need to be corrected. If I were more organized and detail oriented, we could reduce the number of errors during the project. Most of the time, my teams have all different types of communication styles. During meetings, I can usually tell which style they are most comfortable with based on how they structure their questions. I make a point to address their comments or concerns in their type of style, although I do it enthusiastically.
This can be a problem for me when I have a teammate that is too emotional in a meeting. I get frustrated when the conversation has little substance. I want to get the facts and to the point so that we can create an action item list for the team. Similarly, I prefer to avoid addressing conflicts. When they get brought up, I always try to find a path that will appease the masses while still keeping our goals in sight. Because I am so enthusiastic, I like being around other spirited people. It is easy for me to connect with people that are similarly good story tellers, fast paced and high energy.
I am drawn to them and feel encouraged to share my experiences. At work, however, I really value people who are articulate, factual, decisive and direct. When we have action items and a deadline, I am focused and want to surround myself with like-minded individuals. I am most challenged working with people that are extremely systematic. I’m currently working with a guy in our IT department who is very precise. He will correct you if you miss speak or have inaccurate facts. I find it difficult to connect with him on a personal level. I have to remember to be overly prepared and armed with details of our project when we have a meeting.
During one particular proposal meeting, I really focused on the details and had all my facts. I had an answer for all of his questions. Because I was prepared, I had built that trust that I was trying to build by connecting with him personally. In this case, adapting to my audience was a success. In conclusion, this communication style assignment has been very educational. The assessment helped me identify which styles that I am comfortable with. The lesson taught me how best to identify and communicate with my team to be a better leader. The introspection has shown me my strengths and my trouble spots with areas to focus on.