During the course of my work I’m always intrigued to understand why we naturally click with some people yet with others we just don’t see eye-to-eye. Achieving transparent and good communication within teams is both necessary and incredibly challenging. Poor communication can lead to an environment conflict-ridden with passive-aggressive behaviour that can permanently damage team performance.
I believe one key way to address team communication issues starts with an understanding about the cognitive and behavioural preferences of team members.
New research in neuroscience based on personality psychometric profiling is providing evidence to help us understand the dynamics at play. We now understand how left-brain thinkers prefer to work with evidence, logic, fact and process, and will make decisions based on this. Compare this to right-brain thinkers who prefer intuition, how they feel in the moment, instinct or based on a concept or idea they have. Or where some people’s behaviours at one end of the ‘expressive’ spectrum are quiet, introspective, reflective before action, compared with the opposite end of this spectrum, which can be gregarious, talkative, extrovert and impulsive.
These thinking and behavioural differences can manifest themselves as conflict, difficulty in reaching consensus and an unwillingness to compromise.
How then do we go about working within a team that is not only productive but also innovative? Or a team that is able to debate and criticise ideas in a constructive way that takes into account individual needs, team and organisational goals?
Psychometric profiling, when used constructively, can be effective at helping us become aware of our preferences and understanding the impact of this. Instead of blaming the boss or other team members, by becoming self-aware we can ask ourselves, is the way I communicate and my behaviour part of the problem? With this awareness it becomes easy to adapt our style of communicating rather than default to our genetically wired preferences.
Effective and adaptable communication is the key to employee engagement, better problem solving and high-performing teams.