The communications process is a component of every aspect of life. Organizations are made up of people, and communications patterns are complicated. Let me take a moment and introduce the concept of “over-communicating.” It is vital to over-communicate in all we do—both online and offline. Note to reader: Communications involve all processes between sender and receiver, so this does not mean we simply talk or write more. The goal is maximum communications efficiency and effectiveness (green quadrant) as per the “E” Model below. Our world is noisy, has a short attention span and moves rapidly by nature. In consulting with…
WOW! We are already in the third month of this new year and there is no better time to learn new things. So, that is exactly my plan for much of our year together. This post will be an overview of the Adaptive Communications model. It is the cornerstone of my Everyone Is in Sales book and will be quite helpful to us as we strive to become better communicators.
The four articles that will come out in future posts will address (one at a time) the model’s four separate components. So you know, this model is solid and built from countless hours of doctoral research and real world observation. In addition, it builds upon some of the most widely used personality assessments in the world such as DiSC and MBTI (which we are certified in). Thus, our unique qualifications enabled us to put all of this together in a simple and tangible manner. So let’s get going…
What is adaptive communications and why does it matter? What will it do for you? What does this mean? How will it help you communicate your ideas more effectively? Good questions…and I am glad you asked or were at least thinking in such a manner. As stated before, Adaptive Communications is a central part of the Everyone Is in Sales philosophy. It is a powerful way of understanding how we can maximize our interactions with others so we can more effectively communicate with them. It impacts every aspect of our lives.
In business, it can help us conduct more effective meetings. In social media, it can help ensure that we understand how what we are writing might be perceived. At the baseball field, it can make us become better coaches. In addition, it can help each of us become a better spouse, parent, sibling and friend. If you are looking for a job, it will give you an edge. At your child’s school, it will help you more effectively communicate with your child’s teacher. It can help you approach all of your personal and professional interactions more effectively. Simply stated, by following the principles in this model you will reduce stress, conflict and misunderstandings. We all want this right? I know I do and the organizations I consult with have found great success in implementing this model.
You see, this model allows successful communications to occur. Such successful communications are vital in every part of life. They enable us to discover common ground with a variety of individuals, make the communications process more clear and rewarding, and enable us to better understand ourselves as well as those around us.
There are four areas of adaptive communications that will be covered in detail in future blog posts– so stay tuned. First, will be the speak-first, think-later group vs. think-first, speak-later group. This distinction explains how a person prefers to direct their energy and expressions (external or internal). Second, will be the big-picture vs. the just-the-facts group. This segment addresses how people prefer to assimilate information from the world around them. Third, will be the head vs. heart group. This aspect identifies how people make decisions on the information they have taken in. Fourth, will be the 5 o’clock-sharp group vs. the 5 o’clock-somewhere group. This component deals with a person’s time orientation with the world. Do they like to make a decision and be done with it or leave things more open-ended?
In understanding Adaptive Communications, it is important to remember that we all move back and forth between segments in each of the four groups. Thus, how we respond depends on both the situation and context. Human beings are incredibly complicated and nobody can simply be labeled as a “this” or a “that.” However, we all have definite communications preferences. Remember the word preferences. This means we all have preferred ways (within each of the four segments) of how we are most comfortable talking, taking in information, making decisions on information, and how we like to plan things/time orientation.
We will naturally communicate more effectively with a person who shares the same style as ours; however, we can become a much better communicator when we learn to “adapt” our preferred communications style to match the situation/context we are in. There are no gimmicks in this process. It is just the opposite.
You see, when we learn to appreciate another person’s preferred ways of communicating we can provide them with a message in a manner and through a medium that is more apt to be interpreted successfully by them (as the receiver of the message). So, in the process of learning adaptive communications, we must first learn and understand our own “default” communications style and then learn to recognize the preferred style of the person we are communicating with. After we have done this, we can and should adjust our style to that of the other person.
Don’t you think having a better understanding of why you do what you do and why others do what they do— would make your life easier? Well, guess what you are right. This is the journey we are on. Our destination will be making the complexity of human communications easier to understand. So, buckle your seatbelts folks… we are in for a great rest of the year.
Ryan T. Sauers