Is it a struggle to make your voice heard in your workplace? Do you find it difficult to communicate your thoughts and ideas to others?
We are all unique individuals who think and behave differently, and this plays an important role in our team dynamics. By better understanding one another and accepting our differences, we can work more efficiently as a team and communicate better with our colleagues.
If we don’t address the communication gap that is caused by our different perspectives, it will cause misunderstanding, frustration, and will reduce productivity overtime.
What causes the communication gap?
Today, we know that our personality forms the core of who we are as an individual. The basics of the personality types theory was put forward by Carl G. Jung who wrote that what appears to be random behavior is the result of differences in the way people prefer to use their mental capacities. He observed that people produce different patterns through a focus on either external experience or internal awareness (Extraversion Vs. Introversion), the type of information they prefer to focus on (Details Vs. Big picture), and the way they make decisions based on the collected information (Logic Vs. Values).
The key to improving your ability to communicate is knowing your preferences and how they impact your choices and the way you communicate with others. At the same time, part of communicating effectively is recognizing different personality types of others and speaking their language.
Closing the communication gap
What follows are 3 tips you can apply to close the communication gap and move from irritation with differences to acceptance:
Know your Personality Type
We have different preferences in the way we tackle problems, the type of information we focus on, and the way we make decisions. Knowing your preferences, how they impact your choices and the way you communicate with others, helps manage yourself and your daily routines more efficiently. Self-awareness is the first step towards self-management.
How you gain your energy? (Extraversion Vs. Introversion)
Do you tend to focus on external experience or internal awareness? If you are an Extravert, you are energized by your external world and actions. You are expressive, and speak to think. Whereas Introverts are pushed away from the external world, preferring to focus on their inner thoughts and ideas. If you are an Introvert, you are energized by reflection and spending time alone. You think to speak.
What type of information do you prefer to focus on? (Details Vs. Big picture)
All life begins when we notice something and take in data. There are two kinds of information you rely on and tend to utilize: Sensing and Intuition. If you are a Sensor, you prefer to focus on details and concrete information, whereas Intuitors are attracted to big picture, concepts, and ideas.
What strategy do you use to make decisions? (Logic Vs. Values)
Once we take in data, we then decide. There are two typical strategies you rely on in making decisions and taking action: Thinking and Feeling.
If you are a Thinker, you decide by organizing information in logical ways, with a focus on results and outcomes. Whereas Feelers decide by organizing information around values, ideals, with a focus on alignment and relationships.
So, what is your type and how does this impact the way you communicate with others?
Next week in Part 2, we'll look at how personality plays a part in communication and how you can adapt your style.