Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flexing Communication Techniques Decreases Conflict

What if you start off "on the wrong foot"?

How you initiate a conversation often determines how effective the interaction will be. Conflict typically arises from poor "start-ups."

When interacting with others, remember to be aware of your preferences and the tendencies of those around you to improve the chances of a successful communication. Review the 4 preferences below:
  1. DIRECTING communications have a time and task focus, with direction and structure. The person providing the communication is comfortable telling people what to do. For example: "John, please X-ray Mrs. Smith's left hand and bring me the film within 30 minutes."

  2. INFORMING communications have a process motivation focus, with information and explanation. The person providing the communication is more comfortable providing information than telling people what to do. For example: "Mrs. Smith's left hand appears to be fractured; we should probably get an X-ray."

  3. The person INITIATING an interaction is usually comfortable making the first move and is less comfortable with silence. They appear extroverted and gregarious, and often speak or act first and reflect afterwards.

  4. The person RESPONDING to an interaction is less comfortable initiating new relationships and comfortable with silence. They appear introverted and solitary, usually think before commenting, and reflect before speaking and acting.
Consider the communication preferences of your team members. Then ask yourself if you are adapting your style along the Directing/Informing continuum to get the best results from interactions with your coworkers?

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