Today I wanted to write a bit about personalities. They are strange things, that make us all very different from each other, and can sometimes make it really hard to communicate. Like, REALLY hard!
For example, there is a lady that I deal with at my day job, who has decided I am “her person” and always wants to talk to me. I find her quite exhausting, and most other people here won’t even talk to her, but, I have learned that the best way is just to let her talk. Unfortunately this can go on for quite some time, but- if she feels heard, she leaves happy. This is not necessarily compatible with MY personality, which is pretty direct, no nonsense, and to the point. I want to tell the person I’m dealing with what I need, when I need it, get it dealt with and leave. For some people this would be a disastrous client/service relationship, but I have learned how to read customers and their type, and adapt my way of speaking (or listening) to match what the customer needs. And in business, is that not the most important thing, and what keeps them coming back?
I will give you another example, this time with me as a customer, to illustrate how one person can have multiple styles of communication depending on where they are in the process. As I mentioned above, when I start a transaction, I’m pretty direct about what I need. (Not all customers will make it this easy for you, and you will have to learn to read them)
I went for a service for a facial, and eyebrow threading to a new person, who came highly recommended by some people who’s opinions I value. I have had many spa facials, but never had my eyebrows done by someone else at all. The lady was friendly enough, and started. Since I had never had an eyebrow threading (a fact she was aware of), I didn’t really know what to expect. It wasn’t until she was done, that I realized my eyebrows looked just like hers. She never asked me what I wanted them to look like, what I liked about them, or didn’t. Then she started on the facial. (side note, I have worked in makeup and skincare before, and know that people can be very sensitive, and the best way to address issues is to ask the client what their concerns are about their skin etc. Don’t ever tell them what you think their problem areas are.) This was exactly what she did. I left feeling really upset and unsatisfied with the whole thing and as I was leaving she said “Don’t forget to leave a review!” I never did. I thought about writing her a private message expressing my concerns, but never did. “It’s not her fault, we just don’t have compatible personalities” I justified it to myself. (Some customers would just leave a really bad review and still not tell you, and this is where the real trouble starts)
I want you to think for a second, on why someone as direct and outspoken as myself would not express to this woman, either during or after the service, that I wasn’t happy. What reasons can you come up with?
The biggest reason was, this woman did not make me feel comfortable. Her demeanor (whether personality or not) gave me the impression that she felt that as a professional, she was above me. Of course she didn’t know anything about me, my background, or knowledge in her field. She felt that her knowledge was superior, and acted accordingly. Which left no room for my opinions, or feelings.
Back to the lady mentioned above: She had a conversation with another person where I work, to get some information I could not provide her with. This person hung up on her, and she left me a voicemail telling me it had happened and that she was choosing to believe that it was a bad connection. My colleague flat out told her he was going to hang up, and she still chose to believe it was an accident, because she wanted so badly to be heard, and to have her issue resolved. This woman was asking to be helped, long after many people would have given up and gone somewhere else.
Spend some time thinking about your customers, and how you interact with them. Who are your favourite ones? Are their communication styles similar to yours?
For more help with personality and communication styles and how to navigate them, please contact me for a one on one or group training!