Today I sent out some emails to former attendees of the networking sessions that I am part of the team for, promoting this week’s events.

I had 2 replies that landed in my inbox, both with only a few words, that caused pretty different emotional responses in me and that got me thinking.

You see the responses effectively were asking the same thing, the difference was in the way they were worded.

One person simply said “Hi, Joanne, Please can you remove me from your email list thank you” the second one put their request like this. “Can you please stop sending me these emails. Thanks,“.

Notice the difference? How the words used are similar but also different? Can you feel the difference in the tone of the request?

Many of you will know that I am an accredited DiSC coach and have also done a masters in psychology so I know that people are different in the way that they communicate with others.

But…

Based on the short instructional nature of each request I am inclined to think that both people are probably running the same DiSC profile.  D profiles are quite direct and instructional in their communication style.

Where I think the difference comes is that the first person appears to be a little more aware of their profile or communication style and has actively chosen to alter their words soften their response. Perhaps they have taken a second or two before hitting either the reply button or the send one.

So why am I sharing this with you?

In business we all need to communicate with a lot of different people and not all of them are going to have the same communication style as us.

This means that when you are communicating with clients, potential clients and perhaps for me most importantly your team you have to be aware of your own communication style and how that may affect the words that you use which in turn influence how you come across to others that don’t think or behave the same way that you do.

In my DiSC coaching work that is exactly what I help people to do.  Understand their own style of communication, how others communicate and how to adjust their own style to better suit the person they are talking to.

Why bother?

Put quite simply if you do not speak in the way best suited to the person you are speaking to, it is like speaking in a foreign language but potentially more harmful.

Not only will the person not understand fully what you are asking of them, but you may also cause upset or offence where none is meant. Without real self-awareness requests or questions asked out of a genuine concern can appear aggressive and critical to the other person.

Bad in a sales or customer context as you may lose the customer but even more damaging from a team or relationship perspective. Employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers and this means you have the expense of time and money to recruit and train a new employee.

In my experience ‘bad management’ is rooted in poor communication.

So my advice is if you really want to understand how best to communicate with other people start by understanding your own communication style by doing a DiSC profile assessment.

There are free online reports out there but the real power of the exercise is to work with someone like me to go beyond the surface level of the report and begin to explore how your DiSC style plays out in your communication and behaviours.

You can find more information on my website here: http://www.smartsupportforbusiness.co.uk/services/team/disc-profile-analysis/