FACT: EACH COMMUNICATOR TYPE HAS THEIR OWN WEAKNESSES AND STRENGTHS, SO FIGURING THAT OUT CAN BE KEY TO GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR STAFF AND COLLEAGUES. “WE’RE NOT BORN A RESERVED OR DIRECT COMMUNICATOR; WE CAN SHIFT WITH AGE AND LIFE EXPERIENCE,” SAYS PENNY ETHERIDGE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF RADIANT HAIR & BEAUTY CONSULTANCY. HERE, SHE SHARES THE FOUR KEY COMMUNICATOR TYPES TO LOOK OUT FOR AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM.
These are your chatty staff. “They’re fun and quite open about their own private lives. They like to gossip, but generally they’re nice people,” says Etheridge. “On the flipside, they can become a little bit over familiar, and can become easily confused or distracted and not carry out the requests that you’ve asked of them.” Sound familiar? “You need to write everything down – even better get them to write it down themselves,” advises Penny. “You need to organise this communicator type. Otherwise, they not only distract themselves, but they distract others too.”
“In the industry, you get a lot of relator communicators, which is a really good thing as these will be your most loyal employees,” says Penny. “They drink in the information that you give them and quietly, through observation, you’ll see that they’re carrying out new tasks and they’ve taken it upon themselves to do so. They value reliability and these people feel a lot,” she adds. However, don’t pile on the pressure unnecessarily. “Reserved people really don’t like being pushed, so when you talk about goals, don’t put any threat underneath them,” she advises.
“Directors can be the most motivating but also the most damaging types of staff,” says Penny. “The direct communicator is somebody who’s a leader and likes to take control – for better or for worse.” However, they are usually highly skilled members of staff, so set robust targets because they like to be challenged. However, you should be firm and let them know who’s in charge,” advises Penny. “Look at ways of delegating responsibility, such as giving them tasks where they work independently. Otherwise, they’ll undermine decisions you’re making and will try to take control.”
These people are very analytical, says Penny. “They have a real attention to detail, will question a lot and have to understand everything before they do it, and they tend to work alone. You might employ someone within your company who is an indirect or ‘thinker’ person, but they are more likely to be on your admin team than anywhere else,” says Penny. They can come across as procrastinating, but it’s because they want to leave no stone unturned. They want to know every single detail. “Within an appraisal, refine everything about targets, company goals, visions and career paths down to the minutest detail.”