The Straight Talk survey reveals your communication style, but it also sheds light on how you listen, think, and frame the world. When team members understand these things about each other, communication starts to flow.
How will you put Straight Talk to work in your own team or workgroup?
Login to your GoStraightTalk.com account and navigate to “Manage Teams” to create a team and invite your co-workers. Each member will be able to compare styles and see a visual breakdown of the overall team style.
When teams understand each other more and know the value of each style, the culture shifts to appreciate some of the subtleties in people’s communications – the hidden levels of meaning behind what they say, the types of things they pay attention to. This, in turn, will lead to more satisfying and more successful interactions.
We publish our free blog CommunicationStyles.org and offer a few products to help facilitate teaching Straight Talk.
Straight Talk® Team Profile
After you’ve created a team, the team leader can purchase a Team Profile which includes the team overview, style descriptions, and style comparisons for each member. Each member receives specific insights on how to improve communication with each person.
Straight Talk® Workshop
The Straight Talk Training and Participant Guide is a trainer’s guide with everything you will need to create a highly successful workshop on the topic of communication styles. Great for workgroups and teams. Or you can purchase a license for the Video Workshop, so each team member can learn at their own pace.
Straight Talk® Book
Published in 1998 the Straight Talk book is still the most in-depth guide to Straight Talk, providing a set of tools for people who aspire to be part of a learning organization. Using exercises, surveys, and real-life case studies, the book shows how competent communication can help solve today’s most urgent organizational dilemmas.
Use the coupon code ST10 to receive a 10% discount on your purchase.
If it’s a relatively small team, start with the team leader. Nine times out of ten, his or her style will dictate the style of the team. For a larger team or organization, with more than 100 employees, the division heads or senior management team will determine the culture. If they tilt toward a particular style, the organization will mirror that. A lack of balance in senior management will affect the styles of hundreds, even thousands, of subordinates, and cause the organization to behave in predictable ways.
The following chart shows the predictable tendencies of each different type of culture:
Learn more about Straight Talk Leadership Styles.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle espoused a simple philosophy of life. “All things in moderation,” he said. Being too courageous meant you were foolhardy. Being too talkative, you were a gossip. If you were too quiet, you were a recluse. The best course lay in the center. The Rule of the Center is as true for organizations as it is for individuals. It’s just that organizations can’t shift styles as easily as individuals. When an organization is out of balance, it has only three options:
CEOs and presidents of organizations, in particular, need to recognize their role in shaping a culture. When a boss is aware of their style, they can make a conscientious effort to motivate behaviors in the organization that balance his or her style. Typically, these behaviors can be induced by creating specific systems and processes within the organization.
For example, in a Director culture, you can make sure that enough meetings are scheduled to keep people informed and involved. In a Harmonizer culture, you can create an executive team and empower it to make critical decisions. In an Expresser culture, you can insist that people form tight agreements about what needs to be done when. In a Thinker culture, you can reward people for innovative thinking.
The following chart contains a checklist of possible actions that can be taken to address the weaknesses that crop up in each type of culture:
Knowing how to achieve a balance of styles is a sign of mature management. But the reverse occurs more frequently. The boss selects subordinates who are similar in style to his own; key managers reinforce behaviors they’re comfortable with, rather than those that might provide the necessary balance.
The managers of every organization imbue its culture with certain habits and tendencies. Over time, these habits become the source of discontent and unresolved conflict. By analyzing the style of top managers, using the Communication Styles Profile, one can discern the source of an organization’s culture, and isolate possible causes. Finding the right balance of management styles is management’s top responsibility – along with ensuring that each style understands its importance to the organization.
Leading Resources, Inc. is a Sacramento Leadership Coaching firm that develops leaders and leading organizations. Subscribe to our leadership development newsletter to download the PDF – “The 6 Trust-Building Habits of Leaders” to learn more about how to build trust with your team.