Leading by Effectively Communicating



As a part of my executive coaching practice, I use a DISC/Driving Forces assessment tool to help identify the natural behavioral tendencies and the personal motivations of my clients. During most of my years as a coach, I was adamantly opposed to “recommending some online assessment that will slap a label on my clients and pop them into boxes.” Coaching is about growth and change and the antithesis of living in a box. I had my speech and I was committed to it.

A couple of years ago a colleague challenged me to learn more about the value of this work, and I subsequently became a behavioral/driving forces analyst. What turned me around? When you know how you normally behave and what drives you, and you understand how you differ from others, you can adjust your communication so that others can understand you. The concept is as simple as knowing your native tongue very well, while at the same time learning a few key words from a variety of primary world languages so that you can effectively communicate.

Leadership Skill: Lead by effectively communicating.

Over the next few weeks I will post blogs about how different people respond when they face four common situations:

  • Problems or challenges
  • The desire to influence someone
  • Change and setting pace
  • Rules that have been set by someone else

Your natural way of responding shapes your behavioral style.  How you walk. How you talk. How you shop. How you drive. How you play.

We will also consider why you do what you do, i.e. what gets you out of bed in the morning. We will consider six categories of what may drive you:

  • Knowledge
  • Utility
  • Surroundings
  • Others
  • Power
  • Methodologies

Human beings are much more complex than what any assessment can tell us about how we tend to behave or what drives us. This work offers you broad strokes to understand yourself and others for the purpose of communicating more effectively.

How are you doing, 0 – 10, leading by effectively communicating?

Since I spend a significant amount of time doing 1:1 executive coaching and leadership team training on this topic, I am constantly aware of communicating with family and friends, as well as clients, with language that fits how they behave and what drives them. I get better at it every year and find the key is taking a moment to clearly listen, not just be thinking about what I want to say.

In anticipation of sharing new communication tools these next weeks, I invite you to choose a couple of primary people in your life and notice how they behave, and what is important to them. It will be particularly interesting if you choose people with whom you struggle to communicate. I encourage you to suspend your natural tendency to judge anything that is different from you. That does not mean that there is never behavior that is good or bad, it just means that behavior that is different from yours is not, by definition, either bad or good. It is just different. Obviously, this is a core principle in effective communication.

Be excited. The info coming these next weeks has opened doors for executive teams around the world to take their communication skills to the next level and create highly successful organizations. You will find yourself applying it to the vital areas where you lead – work, community, and home!

Posted on September 6, 2018 in Building Transparent Cultures, Leadership

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