Hilary Clinton. Meryl Streep. Jennifer Anniston. The Queen. Who most represents your personality and style of communication? That was the question we were asked at a recent Company of Women breakfast by speaker Barbara Morris.
What followed was a fascinating discussion about communication styles. Take Hilary Clinton – she’s assertive, direct and to the point, so any sales chat with her needs to be focused, researched and succinct. Jennifer Anniston on the other hand is fun and hard to nail down, so you would want to be sure to warm up to the sales pitch, tell stories, meet somewhere fun to set the stage for the discussion.
As for Meryl Streep, she’s calm, focused on harmony and understated. Building relationships is important to her, so you might want to ask about her family. However, the Queen is driven by her sense of duty, honour and routine - all of which have made her life make sense. You would want to be on time, bring the facts and do your homework so you can answer questions, get to the point and close the sale.
Like other personality tests such as True Colours or Personality Dimensions, this approach helps to de-personalize communication issues which is why you need to not only understand your communication style, but that of others. When you can talk their language and speak in a way that makes sense to them, you are more likely to be understood and in business, close the deal.
But it takes practice, because at first, like learning any new language, it seems foreign to you.