Transforming Talk at Work | June 2016

 

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Dear Reader,

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.

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Reverse Engineer: Communicating with an Analyzer

1. Prepare in advance. Bring your request or topic of conversation to an Analyzer having thought it through in advance. Analyzers take great care in being organized and they appreciate when you are, too.

2. Share data. Analyzers like to make data driven decisions. If there is data or documentation that supports your position or will help the Analyzer process your request, share that data. Ideally, in advance.

3. Slow down. Analyzers like to take it all in. Be measured in your pacing so they can take in all the details and carefully consider them.

4. Be okay with some silence. . Analyzers like to think before they speak. In order to do that, they will pause and consider what you’ve said before they respond. Know that they are giving thought to the matter at hand and be patient.

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In the March and April issues of Transforming Talk, I covered two of the other communication styles. If you missed them, you can find the March issue on the Motivator style here and the April issue on the Director style here. Next month we will cover the final style in this series, the Motivator style.

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Digest This: Communicating with Analyzers

Data Driven Management Can Also Be Compassionate (Harvard Business Review)
Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, is one of the most rigorous data driven leaders in today’s marketplace. Bezos’ passion for data drives his decisions and is the cornerstone behind the company’s success. This article explains how making data-driven decisions is liberating – for both leaders and employees.

What’s the Crux of Masterful Communication? Analytics (Inc.)
The higher up the ranks you move in your organization, the more likely you will need to engage in compelling, persuasive dialogue to get results. This article provides six tips for engaging in logical communication, complete with off-the-shelf phrases and questions you can use to prompt a more analytical conversation.

The Right (And Wrong) Way To Talk To An Impatient Boss (Forbes)
In the event that you are not analytical and need to work with those who are, this article provides a straightforward method for cutting to the chase and being direct, even if it’s not your typical modus operandi. These tips will put an end to impatient behavior and build trust.

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duo

My Treat

Head On, the book series, launches today!

For years people have asked at speaking events and training sessions if I had a book that outlined the techniques I’ve share from the stage. And now I can proudly say “Yes!” And you’re among the first to know!

Head On: Addressing Challenging Workplace Conversations Directly and its companion workbook, The Head On Handbook, are hot off the presses.

Learn more and get your copy today!

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Until next time,
Janel

Janel Anderson, PhD
Workplace Communication Expert and CEO of Working Conversations
janel@working-conversations.com
612-327-8026

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