Communication and Self-Discovery New Directors WorkshopSeminars on Academic ComputingAugust 5, 2006 Bruce M. Taggart with thanks to: Jenny Cobb (AxysPointe) Jeannie Zappe, Carrie Regenstein, Barry Walsh (EDUCAUSE Institute)
How we’ll use our time today • Effective communication • Group Exercise: Your Communication Behavioral Style • Behavioral styles defined • “Style flex” • Group Exercise: Communicating with other styles • Active listening
So, communication is… • Understanding between and among people; • An interdependent process; • Not necessarily agreement; • Constant. You cannot NOT communicate. We constantly communicate, and we constantly receive communication from others.
Basic principles of communication • A basic principle of communication in general: People are not mind readers • People judge you by your behavior, not your intent • A Russian proverb says, “Once a word goes out of your mouth, you can never swallow it again.”
How we communicate • What people can see • What people hear • What we actually say Communication is in the mind of the recipient: You’re just making noise if the other person doesn’t hear you.
To be an effective communicator… • Understand how communication occurs • Understand your own communication behavior style • Learn to diagnose the communication needs of others • Develop listening skills • Communicate with others in a way that is sensitive to and aware of their needs
Wouldn’t it be great if you could… • Understand how your preferred style of working comes across to other people • “Read” other people’s behavior so you’ll know the best way to work with them • Find common ground with people while maintaining your individuality and integrity • Adjust your behavior in small ways that dramatically improve results among different styles • Relate effectively—no matter how others react to you Source: People Styles at Work: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
What communication style are you? Exercise: Communication Behavioral Styles Inventory
Communications Styles Grid Less Emotional Analytical Driver More Assertive Less Assertive Amiable Expressive More Emotional
Analyticals • Tendency towards perfectionism • Deal with facts, data, logic, details • Sometimes slow to make decisions • May appear overly cautious and not good risk-takers • Decisions and information provided are usually accurate and thoughtful • Feelings and emotions kept inside
Amiables • “Warm and fuzzies” • People and friendship are very important • Like to get others involved in activities • Good at juggling multiple tasks • Concerned about feelings of others • Less inclined to speak their mind openly • Can get hurt feelings or be offended easily
Drivers • Strong, decisive, and results-oriented • Provide strong guidance for others • May appear pushy at times • Demanding of themselves and others • Highly self-critical • Resent those who “waste” time with idle chit-chat
Expressives • Party people • Love to have a good time • Highly creative and enthusiastic • Operate primarily by intuition • Little tolerance for those who are not expressive • Easily bored • Difficult to keep on task • Easily distracted
Toxic relationships • Natural tensions occur between individuals whose orientations are dramatically different from one another Analytical Expressive Driver Amiable Driver Expressive
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lighting and the lightning bug.” ~ Mark Twain
“Style flex” • Versatility is the ability to communicate with someone else based upon the other person’s comfort zone, the way in which the other person wants to communicate. • Style flex involves tailoring your behavior so the way you work fits better with the other person’s style—like a baseball player swinging at different pitches… • Style flex is a temporary adjustment of a few behaviors at key times. Source: People Styles at Work: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
“Style flex” • Style flex is not about: conforming to the other person’s point of view; giving up your goals or withholding your opinions; changing the other person; it’s about changing yourself • The primary leverage you have for improving a relationship is your own behavior Source: People Styles at Work: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
Communications Style Grid Less Emotional Driver Analytical Less Assertive More Assertive Amiable Expressive More Emotional
DO Prepare in advance Be accurate Be direct List pros and cons Present specifics Be persistent Use timetables for actions Provide tangible, practical evidence DON’T Be disorganized or messy Be casual, informal, or loud Rush decision-making Fail to follow through Waste time Leave things to chance Threaten or cajole Use opinions as evidence Be manipulative To communicate with Analyticals…
DO Start with a personal comment Show sincere interest in them as people Listen and be responsive quickly Be casual and non-threatening Ask “how” questions Provide assurances DON’T Rush into business Decide for them Stick to business constantly Force them to respond Be demanding Debate facts and figures Be abrupt Be patronizing To communicate with Amiables…
DO Be specific and brief Stick to business Be prepared Present facts clearly Ask “what” questions Provide alternative solutions Take issue with facts DON’T Ramble or waste time Be disorganized or messy Leave loopholes or be unclear As rhetorical questions Make decisions for them Speculate Be directive To communicate with Drivers…
DO Be fast-moving, entertaining Leave time for socializing Talk about their goals Deal with the “big” picture Ask for their opinions & ideas Provide examples from people they believe are important Offer incentives or rewards DON’T Legislate Be cold, aloof, or tight-lipped Press for solutions Deal with details Be dogmatic Talk down to them To communicate with Expressives…
Exercise: Communicating with the Registrar Source: Personal Styles & Effective Performance, Make your Style Work For You. David W. Merrill and Roger H. Reid.
Effective communication techniques • Use feedback • Use multiple (appropriate) channels Email, phone, one-on-one? Amount of information and timing? • Be sensitive to the receiver • Be aware of symbolic meanings • Use simple language • Use repetition Source: How To Speak and Listen Effectively Harvey A. Robbins
Three levels of listening • Listening in spurts • Hearing words, but not really listening • Empathetic listening “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” ~ M. Scott Peck
Active listening • Reduce physical barriers • Minimize distractions; avoid or limit interruptions • Control your emotions • Evaluate the message; allow silence • Detect the central idea • Be aware of your posture and nonverbal behavior • Ask probing and occasional questions • Acknowledge and respond using paraphrasing, perception, checking and summarizing
Philosophy of a good communicator • Assume 100% of the responsibility for understanding what the other person means. • Assume 100% of the responsibility for making sure that the person you are communicating with understands you.
Resources • The Heart of Change: Real-life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen (Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press, 2002) • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. William Bridges. 2nd edition. (Cambridge, Mass: Da Capo Press, 2003) • Breaking Out of the IT Silo: The Integration Maturity Model. Mark R. Nelson. (Boulder, Colorado: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, March 15, 2005). • Cultivating Careers: Professional Development for Campus IT. Cynthia Golden. (Boulder, Colorado: EDUCAUSE, 2006).