Communication Styles

The key to improving communication skills is style! Build a better understanding of personal communication styles, and you’ll be on your way to reaching your career goals.

Personality style affects our interactions with others, and it is important in several aspects of organizational and personal life. People with different styles have different priorities and func­tion at different paces. These differences can create problems if they remain under the surface. If Joe is slow and thorough and Jane is fast and decisive, their working relationship will be stressful unless they are aware of each other’s preferences. Knowledge of personality styles prevents misinterpretation and frustration. Understanding personality style allows us to interpret the actions of others. If we are aware of another person’s typical behaviors, we can take these, Read More

There’s always been a lot of buzz about the benefits of collaboration. But before you assume collaboration is the best strategy for executing organizational goals and objectives, consider this: there’s a right way to collaborate and a wrong way to collaborate. And sometimes, collaboration is the wrong strategy altogether. Successful collaboration requires a combination of the appropriate situation, a well-developed skill set, and an open mind. So how can you determine with confidence when—and if—to choose this approach as a means to achieving your goals? Let’s start with the need for collaboration. The Need for Collaboration Do more with less., Read More

We divide skills into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are the technical or functional abilities that apply directly to a job title (such as teacher, attorney or engineer). Soft skills apply more to personal characteristics and work ethic such as effective communication, problem resolution, customer service, and team collaboration. Soft skills are the abilities and traits that relate to personality, attitude, and behavior. They are important in getting (and keeping!) a job. Take for example, a customer service professional who is excellent at the technical aspects of his job.  He is proficient.  He is punctual.  He, Read More

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 2pm – 3pm EDT The low rate of employee engagement hasn’t budged in more than a decade. Ever wonder why? Higher engagement is rooted in a culture whose language, attitudes and behaviors make people feel connected to one another rather than feel unsupported, left out or alone. Employees in an organization with a high degree of connection are more productive, more engaged, more collaborative, and less likely to leave. In fact, research demonstrates that there is a set of learnable leadership behaviors that can ignite the workforce so individuals do more than survive – they thrive., Read More

Ask just about anyone whether if would score very differently than their spouse or significant other on a personality test, and the answer will overwhelmingly be, “Yes!” As the cliché goes, opposites attract. However, when I ask DISC training participants if they are as attracted to their opposites at work as they are in their personal lives the answer is inevitably, “Not a chance!” What accounts for this difference in approach? Why are we attracted to our opposite in our personal relationships but wary of our opposite in professional relationships? Here’s one answer: Opposites attract when you’re in a good mood., Read More

Some folks avoid the jungle for fear of a poisonous snake slithering across their path. Some folks skip the surf sessions in order to not get eaten by a man-eating shark. And still others would willingly parachute into the heart of the Amazon or go diving with Jaws rather than have to stand before a group of their peers and superiors and deliver a speech or presentation. Public speaking scares the heck out of folks for a lot of different reasons. Often there’s nothing to hide behind. You feel as though your audience is physically and intellectually assessing, evaluating, and, Read More

Maybe you wrinkled your nose when you first heard terms like blogs, tweets, posts, and wikis enter your organization’s vocabulary. Perhaps social media didn’t even exist when you started your professional career. But social media is here to stay—and it’s not just a tech-savvy marketing channel anymore. It’s time to rethink what constitutes a learning tool. It’s time to consider social media and the role it can play in employee and management development. Learning is a continuous process. It’s not something that happens independent of any given work day. In fact Jay Cross, the author of Informal Learning: Rediscovering the, Read More

Catalyst is a fun, interactive game that helps individuals and teams to recognize their strengths and weaknesses in verbal communication. It is appropriate for any organizational level and can be used as a tool in soft-skills training, employee interviews, or company orientation. Catalyst: Think Improvement for Line-Level Leaders, is an interactive exercise using current concepts of organizational effectiveness and success to identify individual and group strengths and weaknesses in thinking and verbal communication. It is viable for communication training, employee interviews, company orientations and team building. It promotes practical steps to improved information exchange. Catalyst works for many reasons: It, Read More

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics—from science to business to global issues—in more than 100 languages. The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences. Independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. Recently, social scientist Ron Storm hosted a Tedx talk. His topic was, “Do I Have to be a Jerk, Read More

We are social creatures. We often enjoy listening to each other’s musings and rants almost as much as we enjoy listening to ourselves deliver similar pontifications. How often have you, as you absently nodded and grunted acquiescence, been simply thinking of what you needed to say next? Well, in a business setting, such (dare I say egocentric?) communication practices will not lead to the furthering of any ventures or tasks. Rather, they will impede any possible hopes for productivity and success. However, as individuals, and despite our occasional forays into borderline narcissistic communication tendencies, we all bring our unique strengths, Read More

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