Effective communication is the bedrock of every successful organisation: helping to engage team members internally and to promote a positive external image. Understanding how different personalities process information, and whether their preferences are based on emotion or logic can help your communications be even more effective, and more openly received.
Emotion vs logic
Figuring out which is your natural communication style can be done through using the Myers Briggs framework for personality profiling. There are two personality preferences that people generally use when faced with making a decision: thinking or feeling. Thinkers base their decisions on objective principles and logic which can make the decisions seem impersonal. People with a preference for feeling tend to make decisions based on personal concerns and the impact your decision will have on the people it affects. This can seem to be overly emotional to someone with a strong thinking preference. Understanding your own personality type, first of all, is key so that you understand the tone and style you deliver communications in.
As the leader of a business, you will be faced with many difficult decisions, the consequences of which are likely to impact everyone else. Understanding the process in which you make decisions will help you to communicate the process to your employees, helping them to accept how and why the decision has been made. Also, there may be times when you have to move out of your core preference and use the other style to make a decision, something you may find very hard!
Thinking vs feeling
As you communicate throughout your business it’s also important to understand the preferences of your team, so that you transfer information on in the most effective manner to suit that person’s preferences. If someone is a thinker (or makes decisions and communicates based on logic) they will analyse pros and cons, and make decisions based on the facts and data they have to hand. If someone has a preference for feeling, they will make decisions based on how the consequences will impact the people involved. The aim of this preference, or someone who makes decisions based on emotions, is to establish or maintain harmony. Anything that could cause conflict could make the person receiving the communication feel very uncomfortable.
So, the challenge is to frame information such that it shows that your decisions have logic AND they have taken account of the people impacts.
There is no right or wrong way to communicate, but understanding the different ways your team process information will help your communications to work more effectively. Contact St Andrews Consulting to understand more about the most effective techniques to employ when communicating with your team.