Home
 
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login
Learn
Tests

Why You Need to Adapt How You Communicate for Each Situation

From the ZandaX Communication Blog

Articles to help you improve your communications

Home  >  Blogs Home  >  Development Blog  >  Communication Articles  > 
Why You Need to Adapt How You Communicate for Each Situation

Why You Need to Adapt How You Communicate for Each Situation

A post from our Communication blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
Communication is at the core of everything that we do. When it comes to your working life, your communication style is incredibly important to your success as a member of a team, or a team leader.

But if you find yourself using the same style of communication in every situation, you are quickly going to run into problems. Imagine trying to tell your spouse to do something in the same manner that you would an underling at work when you're pressed for time. It's not going to get the same response, is it?



Adaptation is a natural instinct

So let's assume that you have an understanding of the basics of how to communicate (if not, why not look to improve that first?), does that guarantee that you'll get the best possible response from others?

No!

Well why not?

We all have different sides to our personality, and we make split second decisions to decide which one to showcase at any given time. As a result, the way we communicate  (or read HOW you communicate) depends on the type of behaviour we have assessed as being the correct way to behave in the situation.

Think of it this way – do you behave the same at the pub after work as you do when you are in a business meeting? Do you have the same set of behaviours, body language, tone of voice and word choice when you attend a funeral versus when you attend a stag do? Almost certainly not! (And if you do, maybe that's the cause of any problems that may have led you to read this.) You may use exactly the same words, but tone etc can change how it's interpreted.

In order to determine the best way to communicate in any given situation, you need to consider the following factors. By quickly asking yourself the following questions, you can learn to tailor your communication style to your audience, and achieve better results in every situation.

Want to Communicate More Effectively?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $119 – limited time offer just $12



Who is your audience?

Knowing your audience is the most important part of this entire equation. Comedians, public speakers and salespeople all know this, and they tightly tailor their behaviour and communication to whomever they are speaking to in order to achieve their desired outcome.

In an office context, it is important to avoid certain topics and issues that are not appropriate to speak about at work. These include religion, politics, an individual's weight or appearance, sexual matters and anything else that might be a hot button topic in your organization. Tact is always the best course of action.

However, you don't only want to view this as a list of ‘don'ts' – it is also very much about ‘dos.'  Pay keen attention to the interests, likes and hobbies of your employees, and make an effort to bring these up naturally in conversation.

You also want to assess whether particular individuals seem to respond better to authoritarian management, a friendlier tone, or a mentorship relationship? By knowing what they prefer, you can communicate more effectively and manage them with aplomb.

Similarly, getting to know your colleagues or team will allow you to determine whether or not physical contact is acceptable or not. Some colleagues may like a fist pump for encouragement, or a pat on the back and other light contact that is acceptable. Other people may not like to be touched at all, regardless of the context or how appropriate it may be. What works for one, may not work for the other.

On the other hand, physical contact with your child may well be expected, or probably desired. When they've been bullied at school and you're commiserating with them and giving advice, a protective arm around the shoulders may be exactly what is required!

Finally, you also want to choose the right channel through which to communicate your message. Some offices are all about email, Slack or other messaging platforms, while others prefer face-to-face communication during meetings and social gatherings. You might even be in an organization that plasters every free surface with colour-coded posters and bulletins. No matter what your team prefers, it's best to adapt to the corporate culture, or family environment, and modify your communication style accordingly.



What do you hope to achieve?

Now that you have identified your target audience and you have a firmer grasp on which communication style to which they best respond, it is time to think carefully about what you hope to achieve. What is your preferred outcome?

If you go into the situation firm in your desired goal, you can more easily adapt your communication style. For instance, if you are trying to discover why an employee's productivity is lagging and their mood has been low, you likely want to take a gentle and sensitive approach in order to encourage them to share their issues. Perhaps they are struggling with a health problem, or they are dealing with a family crisis – if this is the case and you go into the situation with a stern and authoritarian approach, they are likely to clam up even more.

However, if they are underperforming and you believe that they are simply slacking off, this gentle approach might further solidify their belief that they can walk all over you and the company. In this case, you need to identify your motivation in order to correct the offending behaviour. Your communication style needs to be firm and authoritarian in order to express that their behaviour is not acceptable, and that it needs to change.

This can be exactly the same when dealing with children at home. Knowing that you intend to discipline your child for wilfully breaking whatever boundaries have been set would be a different goal to understanding why they suddenly had a fight with a classmate. Your approach would be different for each.

The "Feel, Felt, Found" method can help you communicate effectively

When you think about a global leader in customer service (which is all about listening and communication), you probably think about Apple. Apple does an amazing job of assessing the two questions above, communicating effectively, and resolving conflicts. One of their most time tested methods to do this is by using the "Feel, Felt, Found" method.

How does it work? Well, let's say that you are implementing a new intranet system in your company, and your employees are expressing frustration about the change. They're irritated, and it is negatively affecting overall productivity – you have to get a handle on this. How can you deal with their complaints while getting things back into shape?

The "Feel, Felt, Found" method goes something like this: "Guys, I know that a lot of you are expressing frustration about the new intranet system, and I wanted to let you know that I share your feelings. I am also in the weeds with these changes. That said, I have been through quite a few situations like this in the past, and I know that after the initial growing pains, new tech always ends up making our lives easier. I want you to know that I hear you and your concerns are important to me, and I am so thankful for your patience, positivity and perseverance while we get everything sorted."

While this seems like a simple statement, it actually contains all of the elements of the "Feel, Felt, Found" method. You start by acknowledging their concerns, and you empathise. Then you let them know you have been through this before, and it had a good outcome. Finally, you close the talk by telling them how their lives will be better off in the future for it. It's simple – and that is why it works.

And it's just as useful when dealing with family at home. For example, when trying to help your child who is feeling lonely at school, you could say, "I know it hurts right now. When I was your age, we moved cities and I started at a new school, with absolutely no friends. What I found worked was…"

Of course, there are myriad communication methods out there, and this is only one of many. By keeping the above points in mind, you will find your own method and your own groove, for each situation – and achieve your desired outcomes far more easily in the future.

P.S. In case you're unsure about your own communication skills, we have a free personalised test that you can take, and it can be found here.

Want to Communicate More Effectively?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $119 – limited time offer just $12

Back to the Communication blog

Click the button for more Communication articles.

The ZandaX Personal Development blog

Click a panel for great articles on personal development

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
 
 
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2021
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
Likeability
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?


Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Assertiveness
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?


Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management


Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback


Close menu element
Learn About:
 
Personal Development
 
Leadership & Management
 
Marketing
 
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio
 

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!   All courses are CPD certified.
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel Introduction
Microsoft Excel Professional
Microsoft Excel Intermediate
Microsoft Excel Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Powerpoint Introduction
Microsoft Powerpoint Advanced
 
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word Introduction
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Access Introduction
Microsoft Access Intermediate
Microsoft Access Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook Essentials
 
 
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting
... there will be more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Take a look at our new Leadership & Management section which we begin with a superb course on Managing Teams
... there's lots more to follow, so keep in touch!
Team Leadership courses
Team Leadership & Line Management
For practical advice on managing teams for results.
Make your team successful and more positive with tons of real-world techniques that work.
  • Team Management for Line Managers & Supervisors
  • Building High Performing Teams (in production)
Watch Out For More!
We have more courses in the pipeline so check back soon to see what's new!
More team leader courses
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this