Have you a Babel fish handy?

Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide has many great parts, but I particularly love the concept of a Babel fish. Pop one in your ear and you can understand any language. The TARDIS in Doctor Who does the same thing.

Are you getting your message across?

When it comes to progressing our careers, we need to be able to communicate well with those around us. Being able to share our ideas at work and being able to evidence our talents when applying for jobs. But how can we be sure our message is getting across?

We all have our communication preferences. Some like to write epic prose. Others (my teenagers) are happy with a ‘k’ as a text message. But often workplace problems start when their is a mismatch in communication.

I had a marvellous administrator when I was working at Cambridge. We were working on creating a training database. Once I, visual thinker with a love of flow charts, had worked out that what my administrator really need ed was a paragraph description of what we were trying to achieve we were up and running!

Communication preferences

In this Forbes article Mark Murphy outlines four main types of communication:

  • Analytical – you love data and hard facts. Logical and unemotional.
  • Intuitive – you love the big picture and cutting to the chase. Quick and to the point.
  • Functional – you love process, details and timelines. Detail orientated and step by step.
  • Personal – you love emotional language and connection. Deep relationships and attuned to the team

There are no good or bad types here. But if you are providing your intuitive boss with lots of detail and pages of text they are likely to get bored and you frustrated when they miss out detail.

As individuals – find your own style on the link above – we can help by matching our communications to what our audience want to hear, read and view. No Babel fish required and our message received loud and clear.

Want help being a better professional? I can help …

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