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Nicci’s Call: Are You Giving Relevant Value?

value

By Nicola Bonfanti - Talent Dynamics for Sales

There are three basic pre-requisites to being successful at selling which are open to ALL profile types:

  1. Believing in your services, products and yourself.  See ‘What is Blocking Your Flow of Sales?’
  2. Understanding and caring about your prospects.  See ‘One Thing That Differentiates Trusted Selling From Bad Selling’ 
  3. Being able to communicate what you sell to your target audience in a value-driven way to solve their problems or achieve their dreams.

Making People Feel Great!

As a Supporter coach and trainer my goal has always been to make people feel great about themselves, to achieve things they didn’t think they could, to reach the potential I see in them which is not as limiting as the potential they see in themselves.

If you listened in to Roger James Hamilton’s interview with Michelle last week you will have heard him say a similar thing and point out that if your sales and marketing is focused on people’s problems, they feel like a victim and keep the information to themselves.

If however, you focus on what they are proud of and good at, they will want to shout it from the rooftops, share it with everyone and thus give you a firm recommendation which is much more valuable than any email campaign coming directly from you.

Giving Value

So are your emails and social media posts giving value, is there something your prospects can learn from, take away and use, share with their clients and colleagues?

Is that value relevant for everyone on there? If you don’t know the answer to that question or you are guessing, ask them. We get in the habit of sending the same email to our entire database whether it is still relevant for them or not. By asking them, you’ll be able to target your marketing with more relevance and value for your different audiences.

Are you listening to your clients? Communication is a 2-way street. Once they have come back to you, reply. Amend their emails from now on accordingly as much as you can so that you demonstrate that you have listened, you care and only send relevant content and ideas to them in future.

Roger talked about an engagement tree rather than a marketing funnel. The implication is that prospects can follow their own paths with you rather than you pushing everyone in the same direction towards the same end.

This implies sophisticated email and database software but even without that you can have different messages for different segments of your audience and whilst that may seem time consuming the results are bound to be higher within smaller targeted groups than the same message going out to thousands and not being read by the majority of them.

Roger’s final point was: Don’t get seduced by big numbers in your sales and marketing but focus on the smaller group of trusted people who you can support and who support you by sharing their experiences of you to the wider audience.

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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DT’s Tower: The Delegation Game

desktop

You might have noticed over the last few months I have been interested in getting ‘stuff’ (technical term) done more efficiently and effectively.

Very Lordly! I have looked at both qualitative and quantitative data, identified the areas that need improvement (and got a blog post out of each one) and put it into practice.

Despite all this (and an improvement in productivity) I still have a lot to do…

…which means I’m going to have to (deep breath) delegate.

Its not that I hate delegating.  I can understand that tasks can be performed best by people who are good at them and if they enjoy them so much the better as this will get them into flow.

I’m just not very good at it :(

(cue violin music)

Can’t Delegate, Won’t Delegate

Its not that I’m a ‘micro manager’, a label that gets applied to Lords quite a bit with their desire to control, natural caution, organisation and focus on the detail.  I’m more than happy for people to use their initiative and focus on the result.

Where I get unstuck is that I struggle with the people side of the delegation game.  I recently retook my profile test and I want to share the graph with you.  You might see what I mean…

Do not adjust your screen… I really DO have 0% in Blaze energy, the people and communication side of the Talent Dynamics square.  I’ll try and break down what goes on in my head (you have been warned).

  1. Delegation is not something that naturally pops onto my radar.  Unlike a Supporter I never consider “who would enjoy this and get a great result”.  The task or tasks are what sticks with me as objective things that need to be done.
  2. With my Lordly ways I break down the task automatically into many different aspects that inform what needs to be done.  This trips me up whenever I need to communicate the task as I overcomplicate it.
  3. Objectivity is useful but not when delegating.  I have the knack sometimes of sucking all the fun or excitement out of a task.  People aren’t often excited by the task I share which obviously affects motivation.
  4. Being introverted, rather than delegate first, I delegate last as it really drains me of energy.  What this means is that I lose a valuable portion of time when ‘stuff’ (technical term remember) could be done but it isn’t happening as I haven’t shared it.
  5. When time is pressing the Lord in me takes control, I have all the information, I know what needs to be done, I am in the best place to get the task complete.  This can very quickly turn into a vicious circle of “won’t delegate = can’t delegate”

What can a Lord do?

I welcome your suggestions to help with the Delegation Game.  The obvious answer and the best is to get a Supporter to do it.  They live for this.  However, that isn’t an option right now.

The approach I am taking is looking at delegation as a process (moving me into Flow).  I am an avid fan of flowcharts and when looking into delegation I found this.

So I am clearly at step 1.  I am doing and I realise that I need to delegate.

From my point of view however, there is an element of complexity.  In order to hand over the task I need to identify what tasks need to be delegated, what goes into the task and who is best suited.  I can handle the objective skills but I’m going to need to have to move out of flow a little in order to see if people are interested in doing the work (rather than just sending an email with instructions).

Its going to be … interesting.  Until the end of the process I will be working out of flow BUT once the process is complete I should have more time to focus on those areas which require my Lord strengths.  In addition I will be helping move other members of my team into flow by playing to their strengths

I am going to have to work really hard to put the delegation front and centre, doing it first before ANYTHING else :)

 


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Nicci’s Call: Leveraging the Value of Your Sales Meetings

Conference room

By Nicola Bonfanti - Talent Dynamics for Sales

Lots of sales people make the mistake of talking too much in the first meeting with a new prospect, anxious to tell them everything about their company, products or services. The big opportunity of a first meeting is to discover the real scope of the prospect’s problems, by talking at them they will miss opportunities.

So use the first prospect meeting as a fact finding mission rather than a chance to roll out your usual presentation.

You are there to identify opportunities and find a mutual fit to see if and how you can actually help them. They should be doing most of the talking for 4 reasons

  1. So you can get a proper understanding of their issues so your proposal back to them can be tailored to those
  2. So you can lead and guide the meeting in the direction you want it to go
  3. So you don’t give away any of your expertise content now but just explain to them what they need to do, not how. That comes once you are working together
  4. If you don’t already know what their Talent Dynamics profile is, you will be able to get an idea from their conversation.

If you do know their Talent Dynamics profile, plan your questioning to accelerate the rapport building.

Dynamo Prospects

Start by focusing on them

  • Ask them to give you an overview of where the company is at and their role in it
  • Do they see big changes on the horizon?
  • What are the key issues that matter to them?

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Use a few key points to give an overview
  • Let them know the significance of the product or service to them personally as well as to the organisation
  • Point out new or innovative features and why that will benefit them
  • Speak in an animated manner and at a fairly rapid pace

At the end of the meeting ask them:

“How do you see us working together?”

Blaze Prospects

Start by focusing on them

  • Ask them to tell you how things are at the organisation, pick up on specific events or people you’ve heard about or that they’ve mentioned and ask about them
  • Ask them what they have heard about you and your organisation

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Give specific examples and case studies of other customers’ good experiences
  • Be personable and smile a lot as they will see that as a sign of acceptance
  • Speak in a casual, frank and friendly manner
  • Stay on task and don’t get too distracted by stories

At the end of the meeting ask them:

“Have you heard enough to make a decision about moving forward together?”

Tempo Prospects

Start by focusing on them

  • Ask them what they thought about the information you have sent them so far
  • Involve them in the process by asking what they thing about things in the organisation today
  • Ask them what would they change if they could

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Take time to go over a full list of advantages and benefits
  • Explain any side benefits or peripherals that are pertinent
  • Provide testimonials that highlight facts
  • Move at a steady, even pace

At the end of the meeting ask them:

“How would you like to take the next step forward?”

Steel Prospects

Start by focusing on them,

  • Ask them how business is doing
  • Ask them what improvements they are looking to make this year or this quarter
  • Ask them what they know about you so far

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Know your stuff, winging it will not cut it with them
  • Be able to show a bottom line on prices, features and benefits to them
  • Highlight any productivity benefits to them
  • Show them all the specifications
  • Take your time

At the end of the meeting ask them:

Do you need any further information to take a decision to move forward together?

Then make plans for the next meeting together.

Who will you try this approach with first?

More information about how you can leverage the value of your sales meetings at www.TrustedSalesDynamics.com

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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Nicci’s Call: Are You Challenging Enough?

challenge

By Nicola Bonfanti - Talent Dynamics for Sales

Last week I attended the global online conference “The Sales Acceleration Summit”. The first  keynote speaker was Matt Dixon, co-author of “The Challenger Sale” and almost every talk I attended after that made reference to the most effective type of salesperson – the Challenger.

So what is the Challenger sales person, why is it important if you are involved in selling at all and how can knowing your Talent Dynamics profile help you become more challenging?

Why does it matter?

According to the CEB research*, and this is what has been sending shock waves through sales departments globally since its publication in 2012, the typical relationship builder salesperson, i.e. Making sure the customer is happy, being of service, keeping relations sweet, (what most of the sales training of the last 10-15 years has been based on) was the LEAST effective sales person type, particularly in an economic downturn, and not only with complex sales but in almost every sales situation.

Instead the MOST effective type of sales person in every situation proved to be the Challenger type who understood the customer’s business, pushes the customer to think outside the box, doesn’t ask them what keeps them up at night but teaches them what should be keeping them up at night and is not afraid to build constructive tension with the client, to make them think.

What is a Challenger sales person?

A Challenger salesperson excels and outperforms other sales types in 3 key areas:

  1. Teaches for differentiation – is an expert in their field and brings a new perspective to the client and educates them in other ways of doing business.
  2. Tailors for resonance – understands what drives value with different customers and adapts their message accordingly  (which your understanding of your client’s Talent Dynamics profiles will help you do).
  3. Takes control – not afraid to take control of the conversation or discuss pricing and cost concerns with the customers on their own terms.

How can you be more challenging?

Before you try and take on these 3 areas it’s important to remember what your strengths as a sales person already are and how you can build on that to become more challenging. Which is your strongest energy in your profile?

Dynamo profiles
(Creator, Mechanic, Star) – you will be naturally good at teaching for differentiation, will have great ideas for improvements and changes. Your challenge will be to listen more to the client and understand their specific values and to tailor your proposal to their needs rather than your ideas.

Utilising your knowledge of Talent Dynamics profiles and applying that to your clients will help with listening.

Blaze profiles
(Supporter, Star, Deal Maker) – you will naturally be good at tailoring for resonance, adapting your ideas to the client’s specific expectations.  You may be fearful of taking control of the conversation and discuss finances, not wanting to “spoil” the relationship.

Having courage to talk finances for the good of the client and your ongoing relationship will help you overcome this.

Tempo profiles
(Trader, Deal Maker, Accumulator) – you will naturally be inclined to make sure the customer is well served, is happy and there are no tensions there.

In order to win and keep the client you need to explore with them new ways that your products and services can resolve not only their current issues but issues in the future.

Steel profiles
(Lord, Accumulator, Mechanic) – you will be comfortable about taking control of the sales meeting but may not have enough knowledge or ask enough questions to tailor the proposal in an original and stimulating way.

Use the data and research you have to demonstrate to your client how they could be using your products and services in different ways.

More information about how you can become a more challenging salesperson at www.TrustedSalesDynamics.com

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.

*CEB research in “The Challenger Sale “ (2012) by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson


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A Supporter’s Story (inspired by a Lord)

Inspired as I was last month by David’s guest blog – a Lord’s Story, I decided to write a Supporters Story (or at least some of it anyway, as us Supporters always have a lot to say!)

To Create or Support?

I remember when I first discovered I was a Supporter profile after taking the Wealth Dynamics test – our sister company – back in 2006 (before Talent Dynamics was even a twinkle in my eye!) I was disappointed… Yes, I wanted to be a Creator! I thought they had all the fun. Of course that was before I understood Flow or anything much about the profiles at all in fact.

At the time, I was running my then new management development training company, trying to be a Creator. I was trying to create new and innovative trainings and programmes for an abundance of clients who had heard about how forward thinking my content was…

I’m not sure who I was trying to fool the most. Myself or my clients. Most of my ‘original ideas’ had come from my experiences working in a highly creative training team at Marks and Spencer during the 5 years previous.

Supporters are great at taking things that are innovative, that already work, to new markets.

As I started to get to grips with the Supporter profile. I saw more and more of who I was and who I wasn’t. I could see that I was running out of ‘original ideas’ for my clients who, by now, had high expectations of the creative content, that I was struggling to keep up with offering to them. In fact, I found the whole creative process really challenging.

It could take me a full week to design a one day programme and I still wasn’t happy with it and yet I could meet with a potential client and in the space of 30 minutes they were asking me to work with them… That work was so much more fun for me too!

Supporting the Supporter…

So the first thing I did was find a mentor, who could help me understand my profile. (My now good friend) Daniel Priestley who I had just met, was perfect for that role.

Did I mention how Supporters just love to talk about and promote other people?

He shared some strategies with me as a Supporter that I could try. He suggested I attend Roger James Hamilton’s Wealth Dynamics Weekend. This was a pivotal weekend in my life that explained so much! Little did I know that 4 years later Roger and I would be business partners in Talent Dynamics (that can be another story for another day).

One of the strategies included finding a Creator in my industry who loved Creating but didn’t enjoy meeting the clients, networking and selling (all the bits as a Supporter, I just love).

This was brilliant!

A Supporter’s Team

Now I had a Creator who was able to quickly and easily create the amazing programmes I was promising the clients.  I also found a Trader who did a brilliant job at delivering the programmes over and over to the larger clients (Traders are great when they can learn content that they can deliver over again with grace).

That was the first time I experienced Flow consciously.  Business was booming and my team were having lots of fun and feeling valued!

Looking back I can see there were other times in my life I had experienced Flow but I hadn’t realised it was something you could create and that there was an easy strategy to making it happen.

I also was able to see the times when I was so far out of Flow, struggling to get a result and feeling like a failure. They were just times when I was focusing my energies at tasks that were the opposite of my natural profile.

Like the time when I was an assistant HR Manager in my early twenties. That role was all about the numbers, productivity, efficiencies, measures and adhering to policies. How I got through that role looking back now I do not know!

Even today, I’m still not good with the numbers. I can do them and I do them but even basic arithmetic in my head I find challenging.  I have a calculator on every desk and an Accumulator that does the numbers for me in my team!

I couldn’t understand how one of my colleagues was so good with the numbers and the details and she remembered every last policy in that massive HR manual… (of course she was an Accumulator)

Today?

Today I get to co-create Flow with my team. We know how to do it and can quickly and easily measure who is most in and out of Flow and take actions accordingly. I get to line manage the team, which I love to do as a Supporter, to see them grow and reach their potential.

I get to connect with the 200 TD Consultants globally and Support them in finding their flow, whilst building the community. I meet amazing people to build partnerships with and I get invited to lots of parties…

Those that enjoyed David’s blog last month will be pleased to know, we have persuaded him to do some more guest blogs from a Lord’s perspective!

Are you a Supporter?  Do you work with any Supporters (or suspect you do)?  What’s your view?


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Jans Corner: Which Profiles makes for the best Leader?

We often get asked which of the Talent Dynamics profiles are the best leaders. On the surface the answer might seem very easy. Of course, the Supporters. Given their people focus, blaze energy, and extroverted action dynamics, Supporters are best at leading teams and organisations as they bring others together and motivate them to be their best naturally building collaboration, trust and loyalty critical for sustained high performance.

High profile Supporters, such as GE’s Jack Walsh, eBay’s Meg Whitman or Microsoft’s Steve Balmer, have shown how much they can accomplish if they put their talent at work.

This natural talent, however, doesn’t give Supporters a monopoly on leadership. Everyone can be a leader. Businesses are complex ecosystems and different talents come handy at different times and in different situations. All profiles can bring a valuable perspective and energy that can be used to build performance and increase flow depending on the teams focus, task at hand, nature and stage of business or season of the economic cycle.

Let me give you a few ideas about how to make the best use of the leadership potential of the other seven profiles (apart from the Supporter) in the team or businesses context.

Creators might not be the best people-people or data-driven analysts, but they lead best by setting the vision and a high standard to reach for. Being task focused to start things they lead others to reach their goals. They are best at the helm of new projects and initiatives, thinking out of the box and out of the ordinary. They are the best initiators and pioneers.

Stars are fast and often don’t wait for their team to catch up or bother with the details, but they will give energy and credibility to new ideas, projects, programs or strategies through the power of their personality. They can improvise while leading upfront to build and maintain excitement, momentum and buy in when it matters. They are the best promoters.

Deal Makers are true people’s people, but they are more private than a Star or Supporter, and prefer to work one-to-one. They bring people and opportunities together and lead best when they are able to be in constant conversation whilst listening closely to what is happening around them. They are the best connectors and negotiators of win-win solutions.

Traders thrive when they can build and grow a connection with their team or customers. They might be paralysed when facing a blank sheet to fill, or strategy to create, but will quickly make sense of what is going on around them. They lead best when immersed in daily action, when timing is of essence and when they have ongoing input from their environments and people to inform their decision-making. They are the best operations leaders and excel as hands-on troubleshooters.

Accumulators are excellent project managers given their analytical skills and sense of timing. They are reliable and will find the way to deliver what is needed on time. However, they have little interest in and are ill equipped to handle office politics. Accumulators lead best when a well defined task or project needs to be accomplished and when the detail and risk management are critical for success. They are the best planners, and project and risk managers.

Lords are great at finding inefficiencies because they patiently track data, analyse the detail and strive to stay in control. For this reason, Lords are best at leading through the numbers instead of through conversation and collaboration. Lords almost always value process and policy over people, and are great at providing leadership when resources and finances are tight and success requires efficiency and precision. They are the best data-driven analytics and efficiency leaders.

Mechanics constantly look for improvements and as a result they are continually challenging the status quo on the way things are done. This can be very stimulating for some, and very frustrating for others. The best way to for them to lead people is to make it easy for others to collaborate and perform indirectly, not through motivation but by perfecting the underlying processes, procedures and systems. They are the best systematisers, improvers and finishers.

If you currently experience frustration or ineffectiveness of leadership in your team or business, it might be that you are trying to put a square peg into a round hole. As businesses and demands evolve so will the need for the appropriate leadership. Chances are that you will not need to re-organise the whole team or organisation. For a start, just notice whose talent can help most with the task or challenge at hand and provide them a space to contribute it at the right occasion. Build from small opportunities, for instance, just allowing the right person to lead a meeting or spearheading a project – and then expand from there. The reward will be a more resilient and better performing team as well as increased engagement and flow of everyone in it.


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Unas Spotlight: Why Innovative People Fail

I was intrigued when I recently read this Forbes article titled ‘Why Innovative People Fail’ to see that the author and commentators were so close to a workable solution, yet so far at the same time.

While the idea of getting another person involved to complement the innovator’s strengths is mooted, the concept of how a team could add value is not fully explored.

Perhaps this is partly because the ‘idea monkeys’ (and as a Star profile I’m one of them!) do enjoy significance & freedom and they could feel that a team would tie them down. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

It is interesting how I have learned that every time you wish to switch up a level, you often need to do the opposite of what you were doing before. Counterintuitive I know…

Where the right team dynamics can really add value is not just in supporting the execution of an idea but in actually helping to select the best ideas to carry forward in the first place.

The innovator, often a Creator profile, can be amazing at generating new ideas and strategies. However, their sense of timing is frequently off, usually with them being ahead of the crowd and more importantly the market.

In addition to having great timing, dealmakers and traders are also closer to the customer and so can assess the Creator’s ideas from that viewpoint. Stars can ensure that the idea is marketable and Supporters that the best team is in place to execute it.

Of course what is also essential is to have an Accumulator/Lord and/or Mechanic to ensure that the best use of data is made and the right systems and processes are in place for repeated success.

Unfortunately, what happens in many teams is that the Creator can be sensitive to criticism of their idea or strategy, which stops feedback in its tracks and consequently prevents their plans being more robust. This increases risk and the likelihood of failure.

If the team is unaware of the value that they all add to the innovation process, then there is the danger that they will be constantly moved from working on one idea to the next before anything has the chance to be completed.

An idea could be brilliant, however it may simply cost too much to execute and/or to promote, especially if this means entering new markets. It could even be taking the company totally off track in terms of where it as an organisation adds the most value to the marketplace.

The three Dynamo energy profiles, Mechanic, Creator and Star, will all innovate constantly. The trick to innovation success though, is to have the right structures and parameters in place to ensure that their innovation reaps rewards.

Understanding how value and leverage lead to accelerated trust and flow provides parameters that often result in six-and-seven-figure returns.

Having the right team dynamics gives you a structure that supports identifying and executing the best opportunities for your organisation over and over again.

So before you automatically dismiss or jump on the next great idea, consider with your team is it really the best idea for your team, for your organisation and your market at this time?


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TD 2.0 Launching very soon…

I wanted to give you some prior notice of an exciting update! Over the past few months, Roger and the team here at TDHQ have been working on the development of the Talent Dynamics Profile reports.

We’re calling it TD 2.0!

The updated report, as well as all of what you have come to expect, now also contains:

Explanation on Value and Leverage

The leadership style of your profile

How you communicate with others and the best way to get into Flow

The best environments for your profile to flourish

The emotional needs of each of the Frequencies

There is now information on all 8 profiles as well, so you can see at a glance an overview of the others in your team…

and much much more!

It’s grown from 10 to 18 pages and is packed with even more content about your profile!

We are letting you know now, as early in September, we will contact you to let you know that we are almost ready to go live with TD 2.0 and before we do that, as you have already taken a profile test with us previously, we want you to be able to download the new version of your own report, absolutely free.

The opportunity to download the new report for free will be available for a limited period only, so please don’t miss it.

In addition, we will also be gifting you a free copy of the new book that Roger and I have created about Talent Dynamics.

Look out for the updates coming from us in the next few weeks as you will have exclusive access to the new reports and the TD book before anyone else sees them!

 


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Jans Corner: Bringing Ideas to Life

Good business ideas are always welcome. And sometimes there is even an abundance of them. But even the most revolutionary idea is of little use and benefit if not implemented. This is a well known fact and not rocket science, of course. Still what is common knowledge is not common practice. Why?

Implementation – a word often used in meetings and presentations – become something like a broken record. Partly due to overuse many seem to become immune to it, others are resisting it as, let’s be honest, implementation can mean a lot of work. And for what? It is easier to talk about it then to go and uhm, implement it?

When you look at the origins of implement as verb, you will find that it comes from a Latin word implementum which means to fill up, to fulfill. Implementing an idea is to fulfil on its promise and potential.

Not every idea may inspire us to fulfil on its promise and potential but there are at least a few that certainly do.

Did you know that inspire comes from Latin inspirare, which means “to breathe life into?”

When you are inspired to implement an idea, you bring it to life. This is not a mechanical intervention, but more of a natural next step in an organic process.

Bringing something to life successfully in enterprises and bold endeavours is not designed as a solo ride. For instance, you might have noticed that the best ideators (who originate the ideas) are not necessarily the best animators (to continue our linguistic adventure here, the word animateur comes from the French animer and means someone “who brings to life something”) and vice versa.

The Animateurs are those who bring to life new ways of thinking, seeing or interacting and create enthusiasm, energy and focus around them within teams and organisations. They express the essence of leadership – and embody both inspiration and trust needed to breath life into great ideas.

In Talent Dynamics we say that the best leaders are the Supporter profiles. Don’t get deceived by the name. Being an Animateur lies at heart of all Supporters. Fire-like energy, enthusiasm and drive to make things happen with others just wait to be awakened by a worthwhile idea, product or project. Along with empathy (being able to step into the shoes of other people and seeing their perspective and motives) they will take the lead and bring these to life in a way that engages others, builds trust and makes sure that the promise and potential is fulfilled…and you have fun along the way.

For your best ideas, projects and businesses, who are the best Animateurs in your team or organisation who could bring them to life? If you can find them and excite them you’ll see what happens when inspiration is ignited into bonfire.


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Jans Corner:Modern day Communication Babylon!

We cannot not communicate. Everything we say and not say, do and don’t do communicates something. However, in practice the biggest pitfall is thinking that communication actually happens. What comes to mind is the story of an American tourist in Italy who in his quest to find the restroom keeps repeating the phrase ‘Whera isa tha toiletta’, slower and louder, actually thinking he is speaking Italian and wondering why no Italian seems to understand what he is talking about! 

Funny and absurd at the same time, isn’t it? In business that collective monologue is quite common. However, the problem appears not as obvious such as that you speak English and someone else Italian, Chinese, or Arabic, but more obscured and related to our different thinking and action dynamics, vantage points from which we see the same world very differently, regardless of the mother tongue and foreign language proficiency. As a result, a lot of communication is ignored or misunderstood while we attempt to speak louder and slower, just like that American in the story, to vigorously get our message across. In this modern day Babylon, I’m actually surprised that anything gets done. 

Each profile will have certain ways to process and understand information and to best communicate with others. Some are big picture thinkers, others grounded realists, some introverts preferring to decide and act for themselves whilst others extroverts preferring to decide and act through and with others. Understanding how others naturally operate opens the bridge for a significantly better communication and so much more productive and fun experience in the office. 

Creators live in vivid imaginary worlds. They have short attention spans, so all communications needs to be presented with brevity and impact – and ideally visually. They often imagine they have communicated things that they haven’t so make sure all expectations are spelled out and agreements and deadlines explicit and clear. 

Stars are natural communicators when they take the stage. That means they will be better when communicating to a group than one-to-one, for which they have less patience. They buzz when having fun and getting attention. Stars work harder at preparing for the next performance or presentation than they will in the details of the long-term strategic plan or the financial forecasts. Star are not strong at the details so if you leave a 50-page proposal for a Star, don’t expect it to be read soon, if at all. 

Supporters love to chat and an interactive verbal aspect to communication is important to them. They are not as comfortable as Stars with taking the stage, as they don’t work well with one-way presentations. However, they communicate well through casual conversation and concepts brought to life through stories and participation. It’s easy for Supporters to get distracted, so the key is for a Supporter to start with a clear message and outcome to ensure their communication is effective. 

Deal Makers need to hear all sides so communication is always in stereo or even surround for them. They care about the interest of all parties involved and prefer one-to-one communication or smaller groups. To a Deal Maker it is about what is said and how it is said as well as about what’s not said. They read non-verbal and contextual signals well and will often address it indirectly. Sometimes they best communicate by saying nothing at all. 

Traders, like Deal Makers, thrive in smaller groups and often find it difficult to perform in front of an audience. They don’t enjoy the attention being on them and are the first to shine it onto someone or something else. This means they will often find a spokesperson for the team and then prepare the information needed for them to shine. They need time to communicate and are happier when what they say is backed up with research and examples. They are always most comfortable of information that come with substance, and don’t have much time for conceptual ideas and pie-in-the-sky thinking.

Accumulators need quiet time to consider and think before saying anything. So they tend to get annoyed when there is too much conversation or stories around that don’t help them to concentrate. They don’t like to get things wrong, so are not as willing to volunteer a wrong – or unproven – answer, and would rather write things down and get clear feedback on how they can improve. Accumulators communicate best when can write down and present clear concepts, data and numbers. 

Lords are logical so communication needs to be structured and make logical sense for them. They will be the first to put things in writing, and want to see all the detail and instructions clearly written down. Giving a Lord a big picture concept or ask them to think on their feet is the fastest way to lose their interest or get them on the defensive. Lords need time to think about their communication, and will often work through many drafts before being comfortable to present their final results or ideas. 

Mechanics love brainstorming and investigating through visuals and charts. They communicate best when they have information that they can show in new and interesting ways, and when they have the time to prepare properly for their presentation. They are not good at improvising, so putting a Mechanic on the spot is never the way to get the best out of them. Mechanics also communicate best through questions and answers where they can uncover the areas to investigate further. 

Well, in these short descriptions you may recognise yourself as much as you may recognise others. 

The key for better communication is to acknowledge and respect the existence and value of speaking a different language and operating from a different perspective, no matter what it is. The first step then is beginning to listen to others first to recognise where they are coming for and what communication works best for them. Remember, the (adapted) platinum rule: “Communicate unto others as they would like to be communicated to themselves.”


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