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When You Communicate Via Meetings, Speak Four Languages to Reach All Team Members

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

When you’re handling a lot of team communications via group video meetings, you have to make sure you reach everyone on the team. For instance, any discussion of goals and expectations has to be crystal clear for each person who needs to “get” the message.

Different people, different ways to process information You have to go out of your way to prevent misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and everyone going off in a different direction. Understand that people process the information you offer in fundamentally different ways. Some go immediately into their feelings. Others need to hear tons of facts before forming a reaction. Some would prefer to talk it out with others and some just want to sit on it for a while.

Assess Your Attendees on Four Fundamental Ways of Understanding You The best way to assess how people process information is to ask yourself two questions about each person to help you identify the different “understanding styles” of the people who will be present in your meeting. Two questions to ask:

Q1:  Is this person primarily introverted or extroverted? Are they outgoing and social or do they prefer a lot of alone time?

Q2: Is the person primarily a “Thinker” or a “Feeler”? Are they more “in their head” and analytical or do they describe things in emotional language?

The 4 styles are described in the chart below. Jot down the names of each team member in the “box” that best describes them:

Success with 4 Styles of Understanding

Putting It All Together If you have six or more people in your group, you are likely to need to draw on all four of the “4 Styles of Understanding” for each major concept you wish to convey. With 4 people, you may only have three styles represented. Rotate how you explain each key concept to target all the styles you have represented, so that the each team member “hears” your message loud and clear.

You didn’t realize you had to be a skilled linguist to ensure understanding in your group, but you will immediately notice the positive difference!

Read The Feedback Imperative for more tips and strategies for leading remotely

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