Four ways to look at a shirt: communication styles and perspective

You’ve spent days preparing an idea that your team is going to love. It’s totally fresh – no one’s seen anything like this before. And yes, it means a little bit of risk and considerable change in approaching the problem, but every inch of you is certain that this is the way forward. This is the next big thing.

And then the presentation comes where you need to pitch the idea, and you’re standing up there looking at the room of colleagues who haven’t been there for the processing, and haven’t been struck by your lightning bolt of inspiration . . . and you think to yourself, ‘uh oh’.

Following on our discussion with Lisa Millar about story telling, she touched upon a wonderful measure that’s simple to use for strong communication. It’s a technique she learned during her coaching sessions with Camille Boivin, Founder of Sister Leadership, and it’s hinged upon a solution to that ‘oh no’ moment through adjusting your communication style. (There are several styles, including Kinesthetic, Auditory, Visual, Logical, and while we all have these to varying degrees, each individual relies upon the them different extents and that means they approach understanding from different perspectives.)

Here’s what you need to do before giving that presentation: Identify the communication tendencies of those around you. Lisa has a fantastic example that she learned in her coaching with Camille – you can try asking your colleges this question and see what types of responses you get.

When shopping for clothes, what’s the first thing that attracts to you an item

Is it the way it looks on the hanger: “It’s beautiful!” (Visual)

Is it the quality of the material: “It feels fantastic” (Kinaesthetic)

Is it the price tag: “Can’t deny that sale price!” (Logical)

Or does it scream to you: “Buy me, buy me right now!” (Auditory)

The answer they provide will shed light on how they prefer to receive their information.

And that’s when you take your knowledge and use it to communicate like a presentation wizard. For instance, if a person is about the kinaesthetic, angle your language toward the physical experience: “It’s my feeling, and you might feel the same, that we need to grab a fresh approach on this problem.”

It’s a simple but powerful tool.

Your take away: Listen to others before sharing your ideas. Get a sense for how they communicate and then tailor your language to their preferences. This is a great way to open the channel of dialogue, and really give your ideas their best change of recognition.

Soon we’ll swerve down an ever-changing road of career progression: job changing, and why it can actually hone your skills and presence within a particular profession.


Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, bringing herknowledge of resilience, perseverance, and changing perception to others. She aspires to  help women explode their success. For more posts and experiences, join Camille at her Sister Leadership page, connect on Twitter, and follow on Facebook. Welcome to the Sister Leadership community!


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