Case Study 1
The Impact of Wrong Communication Style
We pride ourselves on confidentiality, and therefore the names of individuals and companies will be changed. However, the circumstances are factual.
John has been in the construction industry all his life. Starting on the tools and has worked his way up to senior management.
He enjoys the thrill of being out on-site and being a part of a high-performing team, seeing the fruits of their labour and collaboration come to fruition.
John enjoys the actual building part of the business rather than the office/ paperwork side.
John's company decided to become ISO accredited. ISO contains detailed processes and procedures of the business operation within the specific ISO accreditation.
The ISO requires all the processes and procedures for the business to be documented.
Suppose processes aren't followed and picked up in an audit. In that case, the company is at risk of losing its accreditation and ultimately losing the work they had won based on it's accreditation.
In John's company's case, they had to add a few processes to fill in gaps to make the system seamless.
Once the new system was approved and rolled out in the business, it wasn't long before it was apparent that John wasn't following the new process.
John's manager repeatedly spoke to John about the new process, and its meaning if it's not followed. However, John continued to miss parts of the new process, and the situation got to the point that the manager didn't know what else to do apart from disciplinary action, which he didn't want to do.
Proactive Action has worked within the business for the past 3.5 years and knows the team well.
John's manager reached out to Emma at Proactive Action and told her of the conundrum he was in.
Once Emma had a complete understanding of what John was doing, what the ISO documents contained and how that affected John, it was clear to Emma what was going on.
There was no communication in the documentation that allowed John to 'anchor' in the new processes or why they mattered.
Emma knew that John was a visual and high-level information consumer, whereas John's manager was detail-oriented. John was getting overwhelmed with the extensive document with no visual anchors to apply the new processes.
Emma advised John's manager to incorporate workflow diagrams showing the interactions between the processes and why they matter.
John's manager got to work with the workflow diagrams. Showing the overall strategy of the ISO with small workflow diagrams for each section.
The workflow diagrams allowed John to 'anchor' down information, and he could see with ease what he had to do, what's new, and why it all matters. This communication style is conducive to how John learns and his personality type.
John started to follow the process. He would check the workflow to ensure that he followed the correct process until it became embedded.
John, following the process, improved team morale and efficiencies within the business, without the risk of losing their ISO accreditation or disciplinary action.
Creating the workflows reduced John's manager's stress as he no longer had to follow John up to do the right thing repeatedly.
Presenting information according to people's personality types and learning styles reduces the overwhelm and the time it takes them to learn new things.
Understanding communication styles lends itself to all circumstances within the business, from board room meetings to pre-start meetings on site.
When people don't fully understand what you are talking about or how it impacts them, the amount of buy-in, constructive feedback or good conversation becomes extremely limited; you will fall short of your goal.
Understanding how to get the best out of your team is critical to the business's amount and speed of success: communication is king.