Think about your communication style. Is it pink, blue or striped? In her book Pitch Like a Girl, Ronna Lichtenburg tells us that we all communicate in one of these styles, and although the book’s target audience is women, the concepts are not gender specific but style specific. There are men who speak pink, and women who speak blue.
What, then, is the message we need to take away? You need to be aware of your personal style as well as the style of others and adjust your communications accordingly. So, if you are a man whose style is pink, and your first instinct is to have a personal conversation to break the ice and catch up on the local sports news, but you are talking to your boss who is a very definite blue (get to the point and do it quickly), then adjusting means eliminating or at least limiting the small talk and focusing on the issue that needs to be discussed.
I worked with a woman whose sales skills were second to none. She could eliminate almost any objection and did not hesitate to tell her sales employees how and when to do this for their clients. You’ve probably already guessed that her communication style was blue. However, something strange happened on the way to her boss’s office. When she went to talk to him about the roadblocks she was experiencing inside the company, she sugarcoated the issues, she became emotional and wasn’t very concise in explaining what she needed from him. You can guess how he viewed her leadership skills: he didn’t feel she had any. After reviewing what and how she was communicating with her employees and her boss, we discussed switching her use of the pink and blue communications styles: use more pink with her employees and use more blue with her employer. In three short months her employees were growing in areas she hadn’t expected and her boss said he thought she was on top of her department and was pleased with the trend of creating more results faster. According to my client, her results were the same – still above expectations – but now he was able to see the results without wading through the emotional clutter.
When do you use pink communications style? When do you use blue communications style? What results are you getting from these communications? Could you change or tweak your style to drive results faster?
At Kinetic Insights, our PathFinders are skilled in helping leaders unleash the greatness in themselves and in their organizations. Call or email us for a quick discussion that just might put you and your team on the path to significant change.
Gail A. Froelicher is Founder, CEO and PathFinder of Kinetic Insights, LLC. For over 11 years, Gail and her team of PathFinders have journeyed with their customers to forge successful paths in rapidly changing business environments.