HBDI® The Business of Thinking Series: Think About™ Communicating
Communication is now more crucial than ever. With remote working the new normal, we have to be even more careful to ensure that we are giving and receiving even the simplest messages. Our tendency to only communicate in one preferred style explains why some colleagues are so easy to talk to and others drive us up the wall; we are doing the same to them.
Working remotely will only magnify these differences and it becomes even more critically important that as a speaker, you are able to tailor your messages so that they are more easily heard and understood. As a listener, your understanding of the impact of your thinking preferences and how you process information will allow you to listen more openly and attentively. An organisation cannot survive without effective communication and you will see the difference in a dramatic improvement in the exchange of ideas and communications.
Organisations who have successfully used remote working for several years now have recognised that each thinking preference needs the following communication styles. Most crucially, to lead successfully you need to stretch yourself to make sure you adapt and provide information in ways that everyone and their different styles can absorb and react to usefully.
Yellow thinking styles (strategic/creative) will need to see how it all fits into the “big picture” of where you are going, so provide plenty of context around any topic you are discussing. Blue (logic/goals) will want to focus on data and the facts, so they will need a central document or site for the latest status reports and updates. Green (organise/plan) will need to understand the process and schedules required, so they can fit them into their routines and lists of things to-do. Red (people/emotion) will focus on connecting with and understanding how you and they are feeling, so be prepared to overcommunicate and talk about feelings and family/friends, as well as the actual work.
Achieving Business Results Through the Way We Think
Telecom (Spark) NZ were able to go from a situation of unsatisfied customers having repeated calls with their call centres, by using Whole Brain® thinking, to enable:
- Call back reduction target of 28% was exceeded—Telecom New Zealand achieved reductions of up to 50% in some contact centres in 2009
- Customer satisfaction increased by more than 20%—customer satisfaction scores of 4 out of 4 are now being achieved in some contact centres
- Sales targets have been exceeded in outbound contact centres without requiring additional resources
- Outbound Contact Centres saw a dramatic increase in dials-to-calls-completed and a corresponding improvement in sales performance. The success of the programme means that resources were available to be re-routed to handle inbound calls, reducing call waiting time and improving customer satisfaction
- The Contact Centre Council is now referencing Telecom New Zealand as the new industry benchmark.
A focus on improving your communication with colleagues and customers can produce quick measurable results. As well as the long-term benefits of improved relationships and greater mutual understanding. Be aware of your own thinking preferences and start making a conscious effort to stretch towards satisfying the preferences of others. The improved trust and clarity of focus from using these ideas will show immediate benefits for you and your team.
Find out more about the Start Thinking Online Program here.