If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
This may sound like a paradox but I am going to suggest that the way to a person’s heart is through their brain. At least when it involves communication!
A powerful way for you to communicate through the distractions and noise at work is to share your message in a way that goes to the heart of your people and engages their passion around the work they do. Yet for the message to get to the heart it needs to be recognized by the brain. Or as Nelson Mandela said, “in their own language.” The problem is that each of us have our own brain and our own language! Our brains influence our individual thinking preferences which then drives how people “hear” or “don’t hear” what you are saying.
I have found an approach that is powerful and easily recognized by all brains called the Whole Brain model. Based on over thirty years of research it identifies four thinking styles and describes communication preferences related to each style:
- Analytical style leads to communication preferences:
- Facts only, no fluff
- Experimental style leads to communication preferences:
- Relational style leads to communication preferences:
- Practical style leads to communication preferences:
- Step by step
When your message is delivered in a style that your people prefer they will better hear you and take your messages to heart. This basic model opens up a world of strategies for you to increase your communication effectiveness. A few to start with include:
- Step back and self-assess what style you prefer and begin to utilize the other styles in your messages.
- Listen to your team members and the styles they use for clues to their preferences – then mirror their style in your 1-1 communications.
- Share important messages multiple times utilizing multiple styles.
- Incorporate multiple styles into each message.