Do your employees struggle to express themselves and deal with conflict situations effectively? Is it difficult to have those specific (and challenging) conversations? Does achieving team cohesion in your company feel like a pipe dream?
Neil Gerber, former Managing Partner at Baker Tilly Morrison Murray, provides some insight into why this might be. “The reality is that we are all so different,” he says, “and while we may all work towards a common goal, successful communication is often marred by company dynamics and differences in our attitudes, management styles and behavioural patterns.”
Take the concept of change, for example. Some love it, some are vehemently resistant to it. Paul Devine, CEO of Logimeter, is aware that the key to staying ahead for software companies, with their relatively low barriers to entry, is ongoing evolution. “When we hire new staff,” he says, “we tend to approach job descriptions with broad strokes, as it’s impossible to commit to a job for life and cover every eventuality as a company grows.
As a result, we try and hire people who embrace change, understanding that it’s good for the company and, ultimately, good for them. This can prove difficult as one’s attitude to change is not always evident in the interviewing process.”
Because our attitudes, perceptions and interpretations are all ingrained, when we communicate we draw from these and react accordingly and, while we hope for the best outcome, we are often disappointed. “How effective a message is and how well it is received is often determined by the behaviour and attitude of both the speaker and the recipient,” adds Gerber.
Sounds like Greek to me
People have been trying to understand why we behave the way we do for centuries. Greek physician, Hippocrates identified four personality types, while fellow Greek philosopher, Empedocles claimed that there are four ‘causes of being’: namely; the elements of water, fire, air and earth (the more famous Aristotle agreed). Over in Switzerland, psychologist Carl Jung recognised that individuals have a ‘preference’ for the way they behave.
Enter Clarity 4D
Kathryn Lehnerdt, Managing Member of CorporateWise says, “Understanding why we have the attitudes and behaviours we do, and how we relate to others, is arguably the single most important aspect of personal development. We need to know how to hold specific, possibly challenging conversations, where each party walks away with a sound understanding of one another and any potential for ‘pain points’ can be prevented.”
CorporateWise’s Critical Communication workshops make use of the Clarity4D profile to identify the energies we prefer to use, and those with which we are potentially less comfortable.
As children, red pens correct us and gold stars serve as rewards. As we grow older, pink hearts speak of love while purple hearts symbolise bravery. Colour is a simplistic way of understanding messages, and each one of us possesses a particular mix of colour energies.
The Clarity4D profiling system provides a powerful and enlightening, yet simple personal learning experience of these colour energies, by applying the four “Greek” elements described above to a person’s completed online profile. In this way, the Clarity4D profiling system is able to determine where that person’s communication inclination lies. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the effectiveness of a company’s performance management reviews, as well as more successful meetings. In addition, the linking of the elements identified by our friend Empedocles with a communication model allows people to recognise, remember and apply principles to their interactions with others, thereby nipping potential misunderstandings in the bud and preventing that dreaded “pain point”.
We are offering a Clarity4D marketing profile to HR managers so that they can gain an understanding of the tool. For more information, contact [email protected]