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Monica Wofford, CSP of Contagious Companies provides leadership confidence training and development for all levels of leaders and managers.

Communication is only a gift if given with the recipient in mind.

I once heard a great phrase. “The greatest illusion of communication is that we think it actually took place”! Isn’t that a true statement? Add to the whole conundrum of communication the simple fact that we often treat it as if it’s universal and understood similarly by all, and “Houston, we have a problem”.

Communication is a gift and we treat it like a gift, but is that the right thing to do? Here’s what I mean. Have you ever bought a gift? Yes, easy question, but work with me here. I’ll expand. Have you ever bought a gift for someone else… simply because you thought it was cute? We come across a gift we think is amazing and oooo and ahhhh over it and assume that just because we like it and we’d like to have it, that so would the recipient we’re shopping for. Yes? If you’ve ever done this, keep it in mind when you communicate because it’s not what gift giving, nor communication is about.

So, let’s use some different terminology. A direct, Type A (or what we call Commanders in the CORE® Profile tool) person gives a softer spoken, more laid back, people oriented introverted person the “gift” known as his or her communication style. In other words, the Type A talks to the laid back, or Relater, person using the gift that she thinks is best: a direct approach with bullets, facts, no empathy, and all business. While this style may work for the Commander, it doesn’t work for the Relater, thus the “gift” of that communication is not received in the manner it was intended. It is taken personally often, instead of being received as a call to action.

The key is not to give others what we would like to have or be given, it is to give what they would prefer to be given. For the more analytical Organizer preference, that means adding a bit more enthusiasm or flair to the message when sharing information with an Entertainer. For the Relater preference, that may mean telling them the story behind the details versus just the facts, jack. For the Commander preference, that would include direct information that gets to the point and addresses the main question and providing details if requested. And when sharing information with an Organizer dominant preference, that means following a timeline or logical sequence and leaving room for more details to be requested, while having the answers to back up whatever facts or directives you might share.

Communication is a gift when it’s one “bought” with the recipient in mind. In fact, when that happens, you’ll surely raise your chances of having been understood, having been “clear” and having your information acted upon in the way in which you intended. Communication is also contagious…if you continue to insist it’s your way or the proverbial highway, you set the example for rampant communication problems and invite those who know better or desire better to in fact, find that highway.

Is your office struggling with communication? If so, the CORE® Profile tool and customized training on teamwork, communication, and confidence may be the ideal solution. If you’d like to explore those options in greater detail, give our office a call at 1-866-382-0121. We’re happy to help!

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