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Thursday, June 4, 2009

What are you talking about?

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How many times have you spoken with someone about a simple issue and have ended the conversation in a heated argument? Or have you ever had a hard time getting your point across to someone that just doesn’t seem to get it and you end up frustrated instead? In both scenarios, it may not have been the topic at hand, but the way the conversation was handled. We all know that improving our communication skills is crucial. Not only do you need to communicate well at work with your students or clients during counseling sessions or with coworkers, you also need to communicate with family and any other people outside of work. But have you taken the time to really analyze your own communication style and take the necessary steps to improve it?

CPP just launched the new MBTI® Communication Style Report this past week. Download the sample report here while you read on. The report is based on your Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) personality type preferences. The purpose of the report is to help you understand your natural communication style, and how your four-letter personality type preference can influence this. The report discusses each of your preferences by listing your key strengths, your communication approach and tips for communicating with the opposite preference (i.e. if your preference is for Intuition, your report will show you tips for communicating with Sensing types). As noted on the first page of the report, this report describes your natural preferences, not your learned skills or abilities.

To give you an example, one of the main tips that jumped out at me as an Extravert for improving communication with an Introvert was “Pause and wait for a response; don’t jump in to fill silence, especially with small talk”. I’m guilty of this as silence tends to make me nervous. I assume that when someone doesn’t respond to me right away, I need to keep the conversation going by filling in the silence. Sometimes my talking can be irrelevant to the original topic due to my extraverted nature. Yet I now realize that this can be annoying as I’m not giving the other person time to think, and thus I may receive a negative response for this reason.

After reading the breakdown of your individual type preferences, the report gives you an overview of your four-letter personality type. This includes a section titled “Giving and Receiving Feedback”, which helps you understand just that! One of mine is that I may take criticism personally and become hurt. This was true before I learned about my personality type, as I used to think that if I was criticized, I was failing and that would make me feel upset. Yet since I became aware of that, I have learned to embrace criticism for my own personal development, and this has only helped me to be better in what I do! The last section of the report gives you tips and steps for improving your communication. This section is helpful for developing a personal plan.

By learning how you communicate with others, you will be able to foster and strengthen your relationships to form positive bonds for future interactions. Understanding our communication preferences is key as we need to do all we can to improve ourselves to give us that extra competitive advantage in the workplace or most importantly, just to better ourselves. So don't forget to check out this new report!

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