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Get people moving with the right words

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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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