In the military, interpersonal communication is a simple process. Instructions are given and they are followed without question. The personality of the individuals receiving and giving the instructions is never an issue. Communicating in the civilian world is an entirely different affair.
People have different ways in which they receive and send information. It would be great if everyone came with an instruction manual, but until that happens it is up to you figure out how to communicate in a way that people understand. Imagine how much stronger our relationships would be if we really understood what makes people tick. Understanding what drives you and drives others will empower you to communicate in a way that achieves the results you desire. There are many different personality types, and this article is not intended to teach you to communicate with all of them. But here’s a look at the three most predominant personalities.
People with dominant personalities typically are very focused on the task at hand and like to take control of the situation. Dominant personalities can be charismatic and influential, successfully leading others. Having a dominant personality does not necessarily mean that they are unwilling to listen to others, but communication with dominants should be direct and to the point. Dominants may become frustrated with excessive details or too many instructions.
Analytical personalities love to have all of the facts before they make a decision. Analytics feel a need to study a problem from all angles, taking all things into account. Rules and regulations are a big part of the analytical personality. They may feel a need to adhere closely to company policies and can become rigid or unyielding if they think such policies are not being followed. When communicating with an analytic, make sure you have all of your facts and be prepared to justify your position – especially if you are in conflict with company guidelines.
Compassionate personalities may feel a need to mentor and place the utmost importance on helping others. Compassionates are excellent with people and can manipulate others with their tremendous charm and charisma. They are altruistic and positive, but can also be easily hurt if they feel you do not share their helping nature. When communicating with a compassionate personality, you need to understand that they are motivated by helping others. Your ability to convey your message while still being sympathetic to this ideology is the key to getting their buy-in.
Learning to understand and modify your communication style to fit these three different personality types can help you achieve better results when trying to get your message across. You can, in fact, have people within your organization who have more than one of these different personality types. Learn to listen and truly understand what motivates your co-workers and you will be rewarded with better inner office communications, increased efficiency and happier employees.