6.17: Tips for Better Communication

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The Practice of Style Shifting
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Practicing Versatility


Steady Types:

Try to:
• start with a personal comment to break the ice
• show sincere interest in them as people
• find areas of common experience
• listen and be responsive
• be non-threatening and informal
• ask “how” questions to draw out their opinions
• watch out for hurt feelings and personal reasons if you disagree
• provide assurances that their decision will minimize risk and harm to others
• provide back-up support
Try not to:
• rush into the agenda
• stick to business constantly
• force quick responses
• be domineering, demanding or manipulative
• use threats
• debate facts and figures at length
• be patronizing
• offer many options
• offer assurances you cannot live up to
• decide for them or they will lose the initiative


Influencing Types:

Try to:
• be stimulating, entertaining, fast-moving and fun
• leave time for socializing
• deal with the big picture, not “petty” details
• ask for their opinions and ideas
• support their hopes and dreams
• provide concepts for implementing ideas
• provide examples from people they see as important
• offer special deals and incentives
Try not to:
• be cold and aloof
• lay down the law
• press hard for factual based solutions
• deal in too many details, esp. in writing
• leave things hanging in the air or they will be left there
• talk down to them
• be dogmatic
• dream with them if time is of the essence


Conscientious Types:

Try to:
• prepare your case in advance and be as accurate as you can
• be direct and stick to business
• take your time but be persistent
• present specifics and do what you said you would do
• draw up a timetable for action plans
• follow through if you agree
• make a logical presentation of your position if you disagree
• show reliability
• provide practical, tangible evidence
• provide guarantees
Try not to:
• be disorganized or messy
• casual, too informal or loud
• rush the process
• fail to follow through
• waste time
• leave things to chance
• provide personal incentives
• threaten, moan or coax
• use someone else’s opinion as evidence
• be manipulative


Dominant Types:

Try to:
• be brief, specific and to the point
• use time efficiently
• stick to business, don’t chit-chat
• come well-prepared with a well-organized “package”
• plan to present your facts clearly and logically
• ask specific “what” questions
• provide alternative solutions to allow them to decide
• if you disagree, take issue with the facts and not the person
• if you agree, support the result and the person
• persuade by referring to results, goals and outcomes
Try not to:
• waste their time by rambling
• build up a personal relationship unless they initiate it
• be disorganized
• leave loopholes or “cloudy” issues
• come with predetermined decisions
• speculate wildly or offer unsubstantiated guarantees
• direct them or order them around
• let your disagreement reflect on them personall


< Back to 6.16
The Practice of Style Shifting
        Next to 6.18 >
Practicing Versatility