What’s your communication style? Throughout your career, you’ve likely taken a personality test of some sort. Based on your answers to a defined set of questions, you’ve been identified as a color, an animal or a combination of letters.
As a part of NetgainU, our continuing education program, employees complete an assessment to determine what color quadrant they best associate with. Each of the four color quadrants have characteristics that describe a communication style. The goal is to understand your communication style and the style of your teammates so communication can be adjusted for mutual benefit.
Our Support Team, who troubleshoots user-issues every day, is made up of team members from all four color quadrants. Having this diversity is critical to team success.
Here’s a look at those colors and the impact on how we serve clients:
Green – Analytic
The green quadrant represents people who are logical, deliberate and appreciate structure – all characteristics that Tina Hasselbring, a Netgain Service Coordinator, says she identifies with.
Tina’s logical and structured tendencies help her bring quick, factual resolution for clients.
While she says she typically sees things in black and white, working with team members with contrasting communication styles allows her to see the other options that may be available. Evaluating all of the possible options is especially helpful when the team is working on difficult issues or crisis situations.
Red – Leader
Brad Sivanich, a Netgain Support Analyst, describes himself as a natural problem solver whose comfortable working independently and taking initiative. These characteristics land Brad in the red quadrant.
Tina appreciates the leadership qualities that Brad brings to the team. “Those aren’t my strengths, but I’m glad we have people on the team who are able to shine in those areas and communicate effectively when there is confrontation,” Tina says.
Blue – Cooperative
Justin Hechtel, a Netgain Senior Support Analyst whose dominant color is blue, prefers working in a team environment and looks for consensus and harmony while making decisions.
Since many members of Netgain’s Support Team come from the red “analytic” quadrant, Justin sometimes adjusts his communication style to appeal to the brevity and directness of his red counterparts. “I appreciate the direct, honest communication style of reds. Sometimes it can be considered a negative, but I’ve learned to appreciate it,” Justin says.
Yellow – Expressive
Adam Erickson, a Netgain Support Services Team Lead, prefers to be surrounded by people and working on problems in a group setting.
Adam enjoys working with other communication styles on the team and feels their strengths complement his weaknesses. Specifically, Adam recalls a large client project where he worked closely with a team member from the green quadrant. “The project required constant communication with our client. I utilized my communication and social skills to work directly with the client, while my colleague used his attention to detail and meticulously structured workflow to execute on the information he gathered,” Adam says.
Working with communication styles different than your own provide advantages when you embrace the possibilities that come with it. Different communication styles within teams can result in better decisions and a better experience for clients.
The Netgain Support team agrees that knowing their own, and each other’s, communication style has been helpful in improving the effectiveness of communication across the team.
What communication style do you identify with?!