We all know that communication is critical to success in all organizations and that individual communication styles can impact relationships in profound ways. We all have our preferred styles of communication, yet we do not wear signs telling others how we best receive feedback or how we send information to others.
Perhaps you have taken an assessment that identifies your key patterns and behaviors at some point in your career, such as DiSC or MBTI. If so, hopefully, you had the opportunity to share your style with co-workers and supervisors in an empowering way that helped foster improved communications across your department and the company.
While there is no one best assessment, the benefit of investing in a style assessment is that they provide you with two things: perspective and choice, valuable information within the context of work life. Perspective on how you and others communicate and work best gives you a choice in how to react towards each other, improving organizational effectiveness.
I have had the opportunity to take several styles assessments, and the biggest takeaway was perspective and raising awareness of how I operate. It made sense when I saw the stats and read the narrative; I felt validated and more aware of how my more direct style might clash with other styles. One key past relationship comes to mind, but this time it wasn’t a direct report or peer; it was my boss. I did not understand why she avoided giving me direct feedback immediately when I knew it would be most helpful. After completing the assessment, I learned why: we were complete opposites in just about every way possible. The whole time I thought I was doing something wrong, or that I had upset her in some way because she wasn’t giving me direct feedback. This assessment, however, acted like a light that turned on for me and I realized what was happening – it was a confluence of two polar opposite work styles.
With my newfound understanding, I found a way to work with her very indirect approach. For my personal style, I found this to be a highly inefficient and ineffective way of working together, but now I had awareness and some tools in how best to talk with her to get the feedback I needed to do my job.
Another type of assessment is an organizational assessment. Organizational assessments are typically survey-based and designed to assess an organization’s strengths and weaknesses. The chief benefit of conducting an organizational assessment is having key indicators and metrics for performance, results, and efficacy. The assessment process is a review of the organization’s business functions, workflows, people, and results. Being able to identify challenges and solutions can improve the efficacy of business functions and processes to meet stated goals.
There is a natural tendency to want to shy away from assessments because uncovering data can be a bit anxiety-producing, especially if we don’t want to see what is going on. Including for individuals who are challenged by communication but who also don’t want to be told that they are contributing to the challenge. It is much easier to blame external forces rather than look internally and know that some changes may need to be made. Approaching a style or organizational assessment with the guidance of an HR consulting partner will help you quell some of the anxiety and be able to embrace the outcomes that are identified from the assessment. In a group dynamic, administering assessments leads to improved organizational effectiveness for the department as well as the company.
The key goal, which everyone wants, is to be successful together. There is hope in knowing that uncovering the truth about what is going on is the foundation for building the next steps and that is the path to more cohesion and success.
Organizational excellence is achieved through an organization’s people. The Personnel Perspective, founded in 1987 in Santa Rosa, California, partners with business leaders to provide customized leadership training and development, human resources, and organizational development services to help their businesses achieve their goals. Contact us to learn more: 707-576-7653