Most of the things you read about at this time of the year are either looking back or looking forward - “2014, was a year that saw…” Or, “in 2015, we predict that…”
Like most people, when I read the year in review it feels like a Google search result for the top news stories in 2014. They’re interesting to look at, but not very informative. They read like a very busy family’s holiday card.
On the flip side, the predictions for the upcoming year are either a step and repeat from last year’s, or they’re so vague that I’m not really sure what to do with them. Maybe it stems from a fear of being wrong. Once you’ve said it, it’s out there.
But there is one thing that I’ve heard both as a prediction and a review that has been consistently 100% accurate year-in and year-out: Be bold, now.
To be fair, I first heard it in my first year of college in a debate and persuasion class. On the first day the professor walked in without saying a word, walked up to the board and wrote: “Be bold, now.” He said, “That is what I will judge you on, how you’ve been judged before now, and how you will be judged in life.” That was advice that came long before the iPhone and social media. It was sound advice then, and possibly even more so now.
Recently we had an interview with leadership expert Linda Hill, who was part of this year's World Business Forum New York. Get to know more about her ideas on innovation and leadership, and why these two aspects are deeply connected.
The most important thing to know about communication is that not everyone likes to give and get information in the same way:
‒ Everyone has different emotional needs.
‒ Everyone is in a different emotional state.
‒ Everyone has different communication styles and preferences.
‒ Everyone hears information differently.
‒ Cultural, educational and economic diversity increase these differences.
If we want to speak so everyone listens, we must undo our own communication biases, know how to identify what type of communication our audience wants, and learn to adjust our communication style accordingly and in the moment so our message is heard and understood.
To simplify the process, I’ve distilled it down to the following four major personality types, Intuitive, Functional, Analytical and Personal. Each personality type has its own preferred style of communication.