One of my favorite topics to teach is improving communication skills, both in our professional and personal lives. There are so many layers to discuss when we talk about this topic. Here are six layers, which I think are important when discussing communication skill:
- Male vs. Female perspective. Men are from Mars and women; we really are from Venus…lol!!!
- The environment in which we grow up will impact your perception of new things we are exposed to. Examples would be those living on a farm, or living in an inner city, or living in the suburbs, etc. would most definitely impact how we view or perceive a situation.
- How we learn and process information. Some people hear new information and understand it immediately. Other’s need to hear and see (written down or in real life) the new thing being taught. Some people need to hear, see and actually try out the new skill before they are able to truly understand and process the new information being shared.
- Cultural difference also impact how we perceive and process new information. I come from an Italian background, so when I meet new people my approach is to hug and kiss them as a warm greeting. My husband’s family is British and when I first met them they were pleased to meet me. They were unsure how to respond to my huge hug with a big squeeze! My husband has a loving and wonderful family. Our approach to a first meeting is just different. My way or their way is not right or wrong, it just is!
- Generational difference will also impact how we view and process a new situation. Our perception of what we are hearing will impact how we process and respond to new information.
- Different personality styles are the last layer. There are many resources that help us examine and determine our communication style preferences. I have completed DiSC, Myers Briggs, Color Analysis and several others. The first two I think are the most main stream and used most frequently by corporations. The one I like to use with my training is DiSC because it is clear, simple to understand and use in real life examples while communicating with peers, family and colleagues.
Here is an example of this idea of layers with communicating effectively. Have you ever had the experience of going to a movie with a bunch of friend’s? Afterwards you all go out for a cup of coffee and discuss the movie. Inevitably one or more people in your group will have perceived the various characters differently than you. Why? Their perception and yours may come from two very different backgrounds and your response to the same information varies. This is a topic I find very intriguing and always seek ways to understand it better, so I can constantly improve my communication skills.
I hope I have intrigued you with this topic and will share some basic information about DiSC Behavior Styles and how to use this information to improve your connection with people both at work and home. Tune in for next blog post where I will uncover the mysteries of improving communication in a simple and clear way. I can’t wait!