Do you ever feel like you’re speaking a different language than the other people in your life? I often hear (and say!), “That was so clear, how can you have misunderstood me?!”
The missed deadline, “I thought YOU were doing that!”
The missed opportunities, “I thought you said it was all good?!”
This can have really negative consequences in your career and/or client relationships.
When you don’t understand how to talk to the people in your life to minimize tension and increase productivity, you’re likely feeling waaaay more stress than you need to!
In Lesson 5 of my self-paced class Fearless Mindset, there’s a simple overview of the 4 types of communication style preferences and how you can simply adjust your own communication style to the other person to build rapport with them.
Understanding your communication style is key. Then being able to quickly identify someone else’s style helps you see where you’re likely to disconnect (aka experience communication problems and misunderstandings).
If you’re the kind of person who likes to chit chat about your weekend before you dive into the business conversation, but you’re meeting with someone who prefers to get to the details first and chit chat afterwards, by adjusting to their style, you’ll get better results.
This process starts with self-awareness, of figuring out your own style.
And it turns out that self-aware leaders with strong interpersonal skills deliver better financial performance.
It’s been said that up to 85% of your success at work is based on Emotional Intelligence. It’s this intersection of the HEAD and the HEART that helps leaders inspire people to take action and do good in the world. (And yes, you learn more about that in my self-paced class Fearless Mindset!)
So I’m really excited to share with you a new study by Cornell University that confirms this.
Predicting success: Nice girls finish first!
The actual title of this report by the American Management Association is, New Study Shows Nice Guys Finish First. I’m going to assume positive intent and say they’re using the slang-ish “guy” as a gender neutral term. I am super guilty of using “guys” in that way.
Bottom line: self-aware leaders with strong interpersonal skills deliver better financial performance.
THIS IS HUGE! It means you don’t have to be a “harsh, hard-driving, ‘results-at-all-costs’ person. In fact, this study shows that those “executives actually diminish the bottom line.”
TRANSLATION: You don’t have to be someone other than who you are to get great results. You have the choice to be yourself and then make some modifications in your conversations so you get even better results by matching your communication approach to the other person’s style.
There are lots of tools to help you do this and today I want to give you some info about one: the Enneagram.
How the Enneagram works at work
The Enneagram is a personality typing system that teaches there are nine basic personality styles in the world. These styles, or “types,” deeply influence how we think and act.
And how we should communicate with one another to have stress-free, productive relationships.
Every single person is different and we all have a preference for how we like to communicate, for how we like to give and receive feedback, praise, ideas and so on. What you say can make or break relationships and projects and careers.
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Donald Miller’s Building A Story Brand and he did a 2-part series with Ian Cron, the author of The Road Back to You. Miller calls the Enneagram “the most helpful self aware tool.”
“The Enneagram is a tool that awakens our compassion for people just as they are, not the people we wish they would become so our lives would become easier.” – Ian Cron
In both episodes they talk about your communication superpowers and your kryptonite. I love that! I found this discussion incredibly insightful and I ordered Ian Cron’s book The Road Back to You.
The bottom line
If you can learn your own language and then learn the languages of the people you work and live with, you can minimize tension and increase productivity.
Which means more happiness and an easier path forward!