While a difference in communication styles can lead to simple misunderstandings, it can also threaten your relationship with customers and ultimately endanger your business success.
Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter noted in an article for Psychology Today: “…‘communication stress’ can be one of the biggest sources of stress in relationships. After all, we’re all talking the same language, aren’t we?” Not necessarily. “Although we’re all wired differently, we tend to fall somewhere within the parameters of two communication styles: aesthetic and pragmatic,” suggests an article in RISMedia.
Aesthetics generally prefer a sensitive approach to communication. They are often indirect in conversation and value empathy and warmth. They tend to read body language and listen for tone and tenor as well as content. Pragmatics are interested in getting to the point. They value straight talk and a direct communication style right from the get-go. It’s the content of the conversation they care about, not the social embellishments.
Mark Murphy, a Forbes contributor, notes: “One of the biggest problems that occur between bosses and employees is a mismatch in their communication styles. When you speak and the boss doesn’t hear you, or vice versa, it can greatly hurt your chances of career success.”
Trying to connect with your communications opposite, whether it’s an employee, supplier or customer, can make the difference between accord and disagreement. And as Bourg Carter points out, making differences in communication styles work requires “understanding and flexibility.” It may not be easy, but it can be a recipe for business success.