Doug wasn’t sure if his new job was a good fit. He was six months into the new role and he was mentally and physically exhausted from all of the “surprises” his boss dealt. Jeanne, Doug’s manager, was focused, driven and straightforward. He respected her . . . and yet he found her incredibly frustrating.
Doug knew she valued his technical expertise. She asked for his input regularly.
The problem? When she asked for his input she wanted answers . . . and she wanted them NOW.
Doug, on the other hand, needed time to think. It was import to him to provide precise, accurate information that he could stand behind. Off-the-cuff isn’t his style.
Doug focuses his communication on data, documentation and other forms of proof. His style is that of the Analyzer. Straightforward like his boss, Doug leads with logic and reason. He carefully selects his words before he speaks them. He’s comfortable with silence while he thinks and carefully constructs his response to his boss’s rapid fire questions.
His boss . . . not so much. Jeanne’s impatience is palpable and makes Doug feel like he’s not measuring up. Like he’s disappointing her. It leaves him feeling drained and frustrated at the end of the day, unsure of whether he can return the next day and subject himself again to the rapid fire pace of the interactions with his boss.
What’s going on here?
With the predominant communication style of the Analyzer, Doug privileges accuracy. In his quest for that accuracy, he speaks slowly and carefully, pausing from time to time to think. Answering complex questions in the moment makes him uncomfortable when he’s dealing with complicated information and data.
Ideally, he’d like Jeanne to give him a day or two to get back to her with the responses to many of her questions. But that’s not her style.
In order to create the longer turn-around time that he so craves, Doug will have to speak to Jeanne and explain how she can get the best results from him. If Doug can impress upon Jeanne his need for more research before providing answers, he has a shot at enjoying his new role.
The next time you find yourself communicating with someone like Doug who is the “Analyzer” style, use the following steps to adapt your communication to their preferences.
(If you’re not sure, consult this high-level diagram of communication styles and associated characteristics.