Style My Soul Explores …
How did you discover your style of communication that aligns best with your personal and professional persona?
Own Your Mistakes for a Better Persona
When I first started out, I believed a leader had to be the one to know and communicate everything, but what I soon learned was that it’s more productive to welcome two conversations for added insight and perspective. Many business leaders make the mistake of thinking that if they are not the expert on everything or admit a mistake, their team will lose confidence in their abilities. But a leader who owns their mistakes and welcomes the ideas and opinions of their team will prove much more approachable, relatable, and valuable in the long run. Owning your missteps and leaning on others when you don’t have the answers, will open the door to more company-wide collaboration to help you grow as a leader, and more importantly, help your business growth overall.
-Greg Gillman, Chief Revenue Officer, MuteSix
Be Aware of Your Weaknesses
Your best style of communication starts with your personal style. Don’t change the way you communicate into something clunky and unfamiliar. Instead, take what you do best and add to that with a bit of introspection. Learn where you’re weak as far as communication. For example, if you’re bad with running on too long, attempt to ask others for their input when communicating. If you become too comfortable with your written communication, attempt to read your written correspondence and infuse professional etiquette into your personal style. If you’re conscious of your weaknesses, then you’ll be able to attempt to correct them. Over time, your adjustments to your communications will become second nature and you’ll have the perfect blend of professional and personal style that is entirely you. - Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder & President, TheFutureParty
Practice Your Active Listening Skill
The best tip to improve communication skills is to start with active listening. To communicate successfully, you primarily need to listen to other people in conversation, not just hear them. By focusing your full attention on them, without interrupting them, and listening without judgment, you can understand the message they want to convey. Practice that; you will increase your ability to connect with others and improve your ability to keep information and explain it clearly, convincingly, and effectively.
- Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, US Visa Photo
Learn to Harmonize and Compromise
After working professionally for several years, I realized I’m a harmonizer. When I communicate, I bring people together. I’m sensitive to others’ emotions, and I take that into account when I communicate with my colleagues. I also avoid conflict and seek compromise wherever possible. When making decisions, it’s wise to listen to what everyone has to say. Then, when it’s time to communicate changes or something that may be perceived as negative, you can honestly say everyone impacted your decision. The best communicators are also amazing listeners. - Melanie Edwards, Sr. E-commerce & Digital Product Manager, Olipop
Know Your Communication Boundaries First, Then Adapt
How others speak to me helps me decide how to communicate with employees, coworkers, and other stakeholders. I try to mirror others’ communication styles to keep conversations streamlined and respectful. I separate my work self from my personal life because it is distracting. Work is the best for me when I am objective-focused, so I always look to expedite the process to get to the next thing. Everyone works a little differently, so my tip is to find the nonnegotiable elements that work best for you and prioritize them. From there, you can choose to adapt to others or not, based on what capacity you have to give in the moment. Know your communication boundaries and prioritize them first. - Zach Goldstein, CEO & Founder, Public Rec
Take the Time to Understand Your Own Personality
I discovered my style of communication by taking a Myers-Briggs personality test. I found I am an INFJ, so I am introverted, intuitive, and feeling. This means that I like to take my time to process information before responding and that I prefer to communicate with others through emails or letters instead of in person. My best tip for improving communication skills is to take the time to understand your own personality and preferences, and then try to adapt your communication style to match those preferences as much as possible. - Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO New York
Find the Communication Style That Works for Your Role
Communication is vital in every relationship, but figuring out your most effective communication style can take some time. You should build the foundation on who you are as a person and figure out what type of style works naturally for your personality and makes sense for your professional role and company. A CEO of an investment firm will probably have a unique communication style compared to someone who manages a childcare center. You want to find the style and voice that works for you, your industry, and your role. Discovering how to best communicate may take trial and error, but you will find what works best for you.
- Ann McFerran, CEO, Glamnetic
Lay a Foundation of Honesty and Kindness
I try to combine honesty with kindness. In other words, I am as truthful as possible without ever being unnecessarily cruel.
Personally, I think this is a communication style that would work well for everyone. Certainly, you can have your own nuances, sense of humor, or even stylistic quirks. But beneath all of those details, I think if you start from a foundation of honesty and kindness; you are going to have better results in your communications, both personally and professionally.
- Marcus Hutsen, Business Development Manager, Patriot Coolers
Focus On Your Preferred Communication Channel
What I discovered after a few years of working in the corporate world is that I prefer using videos to communicate rather than long emails. It is faster, more engaging, and there are no chances of misunderstandings. I also prefer using short and concise sentences because they are more memorable and easier to understand. - Luciano Colos, Founder & CEO, PitchGrade
Stop Talking or You Won’t Grow
Listen. It’s too easy, especially in business, to want to always be talking, promoting, and networking. But listening is how you learn. And it’s how you make others feel heard. Both are critical qualities in communication in your personal and professional lives. Listening, and thereby learning and validating others, is crucial to communication. - Temoer Terry, Partner, The Mommy Care Kit
Use Assessments to Help Learn Your Style
Discovering your communication style can be done by taking various assessments. They offer many of these online.
Once you understand your personal style of communication, you can do research to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of that style. For example, if your communication style is direct, you may need to work on softening your approach for particular audiences or practice not becoming frustrated with those who move at a different pace. In order to improve your communication skills, you have to first understand what communication style you lean towards.
- Caroline Duggan, Chief Brand Officer, Lumineux
Work on Communication
For me, the most important professional development skill that you should work on is Communication. Communication skills are usually what makes you stand out the most among employers. From the initial moment you get in touch with them, the employer will be scrutinising the way you behave which is why this is the best thing you should be dealing with in every stage of your career.
- Oliver Harris, Energy Drink Info
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