Your Communication in Strength and in Stress

Did you know that your Communication in Strength and in Stress can be quite different?  If you have read this blog for any length of time you will know by now that we all have different preferences for Communication.

There is the Powerful and Direct Communicator who is all about Results. They need big picture, bullet points and Control. They show anger, make quick decisions are usually very impatient and talk loud and fast. They say things like, “give it to me now,” they will tap their foot with impatience if something is too slow for them and they walk with purpose.

There is the Playful and Influencing Communicator who wants Recognition, they want to be liked and to be the centre of attention. They show warmth, they are fun and overly talkative. They will often say things like “I have an idea!” but will rarely follow through. They are always making jokes and trying to make someone laugh.

The Patient and Steady Communicator just wants harmonious Relationships. They want us all to get along. They need stability, consistency and support.   They are such supportive people themselves, they are always listening to others and trying to quietly make a difference. They are quiet don’t really show emotion and are the quiet achievers. Of you ask them a question they will answer “whatever you think” they don’t like to make decisions.

Finally you have the Perfect and Conscientious Communicators. These Guys just want things to be Right they are structured, love detail, love systems and pride themselves on being highly efficient and organised. These guys are perfectionistic tend to worry and will say things like “let’s get it right” or “that’s not the rule.”

As you may see we are all quite different. We tend to Communicate according to our preferences which is confusing to someone who has different preferences. However, I also wanted to highlight another important fact.

When things are great and you are in cruise mode you tend to communicate out of your strengths. When you are stressed you tend to communicate out of your weaknesses. Unfortunately this only makes the Communication gap wider and adds to the tension everyone is experiencing.

Under tension or stress for example, The Powerful and Direct Communicator gets even more demanding, pushy and obstinate. Yes they want results but this behaviour will not get them and so the tension grows.

The Playful and Influencing Communicator in stress only wants to be liked and tends to talk even more making them seem gabby and self centred. This certainly does not help them to build relationships and get recognition, adding to their stress.

The Patient and Steady Communicator tends to shut down under stress. They show very little emotion and may come across and cold and uncaring which is the exact opposite to what they feel inside. As you may imagine this only adds to the stress and conflict which makes them shut down even further.

Lastly the Patient and Conscientious Communicator becomes highly critical, systematised to the point of rigidity and nit picky when stressed. This means that people tend to avoid them, which does not help them in their quest for things to be perfect.

This is a very small snapshot of how stress can affect each Communication style and why tension in the workplace can be so damaging. Just imagine for a moment if this is your workplace and this is where you spend the majority of your time. On top of this you are expected to produce results to ensure your job continues to exist.

When working with teams under stress the first thing we always do is help team members to learn their strengths. We then help them to understand how to see the strengths in others and finally we teach them about the different Communication preferences so they can adapt their message and be better understood each and every time.  

So, if you relate to this scenario please take a step back and see which Communication style you relate to. If you need more information you can always take a look at “The Enlightened Communicator” as this will help you to understand each of the styles in more detail.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.