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Get people moving with the right words

by on
in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

People have one of four communication styles, and if you’d like them to join you in bringing about change, you need to talk in a way they’ll understand.

Here’s a gloss on the four styles and how to frame your thoughts when working with them:

Style 1: High Dominant

This person likes change and a fast pace, is fearless, active, good at rolling with problems and going on instinct to get results.

Use these words:

  • “We can make this happen today if we …”
  • “The bottom line on this is …”
  • “We can win if we pick up the pace …”

Style 2: High Influence

This person is drawn to flashy trends, fun and creativity.

Use these words:

  • “Picture this, it’s so exciting …”
  • “You’ll win the chairman’s prize for sure if you …”
  • “Wow, this will be fun.”

Style 3: High Steady

This person values security, is good at planning and step-by-step processes, and will keep people focused by listening and remaining patient. Doesn’t like ambiguity or conflict.

Use these words:

  • “Let’s take a few days and think this over before we decide.”
  • “We have a solid reputation and can accomplish this by …”
  • “I promise I will ...”

Style 4: High Compliance

This person prefers accuracy, boundaries and solving complex problems through analysis and a cautious, detailed approach. Is risk-averse. Worries.

Use these words:

  • “The research shows that …”
  • “There’s no risk because it has a 90-day guarantee.”
  • “This has a proven track record.”

— Adapted from Conversations for Change, Shawn Kent Hayashi, McGraw-Hill.

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