When it comes to effectively communicating, particularly in the workplace, the best place to start is with yourself.
And it’s even more important when you consider that others form a first impression about you in less than one second, according to Jill Saville of JS Associates, who spoke during Wednesday morning’s BCC workshop, held at Badenoch & Clark in Luxembourg City.
“Other people out there can communicate in uncertain ways,” she said, “but you have a choice in how you communicate.”
As Saville noted, the mood in companies is changing from process- to people-oriented, with there even being at least one “happiness director” in Luxembourg.
But how much do you actually know about how you communicate?
Assessing your blind spots
One of the models explored during the workshop was the Johari Window (named after its creators, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham).
The model explores what is and what is not known to the self, compared with what is and what is not known to others (easiest to imagine on a 2x2 grid).
Elements that are known to others but not to yourself are considered “blind spots”--and they can greatly impact communication.
Through a series of interactive exercises, workshop participants explored various aspects about their personalities using the Process Communication Model, which divides personalities into six types: thinker, persister, harmoniser, rebel, imaginer and promoter.
The idea behind PCM is that every individual has each of the six personality types in varying amounts. It’s easiest to picture these six levels forming a building and connected by a lift, the ground floor represented by an individual’s dominant personality type.
Two people can have very different elements, but the base is where they feel most comfortable. “That base is already fixed before the age of two,” Saville explained.
One individual whose base is “harmoniser”, for example, might find it extremely difficult to communicate with somewhat whose base is “rebel”--but using the model to determine that is already the first step in better communication.
A four-part series
The workshop is the first in a four-part series on the art and science of communication to take place in 2017. Register for one of the remaining workshops on the chamber’s website.