Communication & Style
Common Profiles: What are your strongest Teamstyles?
While there are common combinations of styles that occur frequently, it must be acknowledged that individuals are unique; hence it is incorrect to be prescriptive. A DIRECTOR IMPLEMENTER FINISHER will communicate quite differently from a DIRECTOR EXPLORER (even though they both have DIRECTOR within their profile). There are endless permutations of characteristics within those styles.
Building better team dynamics?
Effective communication is necessary if a team is to be successful and meet its objectives. How do we define good communication? What are the blockages to communication? How can poor communication cause conflict in a team? We often think of communication as talking and forget the importance of listening…. but is it this simple?
- In the majority of teams and indeed in our personal relationships, communication (or the lack of it) is often the major issue cited for disharmony, misunderstanding, or personality conflicts.
- It is important to understand that our personal style has much to do with the way we communicate. Some people are much more feelings sensitive (empathic). Others are more reason or logic oriented (but may lack tact). Some are dominant and some are passive. In most teams some individuals embrace change and new ideas, while others prefer the status quo. Some may always see the ‘big picture’ yet others show real vigilance about detail.
- It is important to understand, that we are measured by our actions (what we do, what we say and the way we say it), yet we measure ourselves by our intent and motives (what we intended by our action).
- We often react to another person’s style rather than what they are saying.
- An example of the checklist for Finisher, one of the commonly identified styles within the Teamstyles behavioural framework.
- An example of the checklist for Explorer, one of the commonly identified styles within the Teamstyles behavioural framework.
- Can you see how there could be conflict between people who tick different boxes in these checklists? Someone who has ticked more of the ‘Finisher’ style may have difficulty communicating with someone who has ticked more of the ‘Explorer’ style.
- We all have strengths and allowable weaknesses, but good teams celebrate individual differences and realise that the best teams focus on combined strength rather than individual weakness.
- The Teamstyles communication programme is about understanding our own style and the style of other team members so that we can communicate more effectively in the future.
Overcoming communication dissonance
It is easy for teams who do not understand the ramification of style, to find communication dissonance occurring. An understanding of style will ensure that the communication potential of a team is met. Clearly there is a productivity improvement because of this.
- Example 1: Let’s think about those people in our team that are concerned for detail. They are always listening for detail when something is communicated to them. They can get fixated on detail (‘dotting i’s and crossing t’s’) and therefore miss the ‘big picture’. Other people in our team, however, are only concerned with higher level ideas or the overview and therefore may not listen and are likely to miss the detail.
- Example 2: Let’s think about someone who has natural sales ability, who is enthusiastic, positive about most change and innovation, they have a high people orientation, but they get bored quickly, or they may not finish things or go ‘walk about if they are too tied to process or protocol compared with someone who is totally task focused, a perfectionist, methodical, objectives oriented, task-oriented, but may lack flexibility, or may be intolerant of talkers who do not follow process or protocol, and are impatient with more casual team members.
- Both situations can immediately cause communication dissonance (lack of agreement, conflict). However, once individuals within the team understand their overall profile across multiple styles and those of their colleagues; they are able to communicate more effectively and work to each other’s strengths.