I get asked a lot of questions, and a lot of comments from leaders that say, "You know somehow I miss communicated this message, but I don't understand" or, "I've been having trouble communicating with Mary or John, and I just don't get it."
First, the single most significant responsibility that you have as a leader is to gather information, not give it. Sometimes as leaders we think we must give everybody all the answers. When we're asked questions, we answer, and we give them a quick response. Your job is not to be the answer person in the company; your job is to ask questions and get people to produce the solutions themselves.
Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions! Reminder: Your words and tonality are everything.
If you're going to talk in front of a group you have the words written down, you're looking at your notes. You should be practicing your tonality and your body language. We tend to overthink the words - when it's all about tonality. Keep that in mind when you're communicating. Observe body language, work on your body language, observe tonality, work on your tonality.
And then, think about DISC and how you're going to relate DISC to those that you communicate with:
- If you're going to communicate with a D; a straightforward, driving type of person, you're going to want to be more direct and high level, 40,000 feet, get to the bottom line.
- If you're going to communicate with an I; a very social person, they want to have social interaction; they are about people. Make sure that you spend time on a little bit of social chit-chat, even if that's not your nature. Smile and be expressive.
- S's are very team-oriented, they're worried about the people in their organization. They tend to be a little bit slower to answer, slower to react. They make decisions slower. Give them some space. They're going to need space to make decisions.
- Lastly, C's; they love the detail. If you're communicating with a C, describe the details. They love details, they'll mistrust you if you don't give them all the details.