Recently, I attended a virtual class that left me feeling frustrated. The facilitator had
designed and facilitated a course that he probably would have loved to attend. There
was a lot of open conversation, several breakout sessions to dive into discussion questions with small groups, and a very relaxed pace. I found myself bored and squirming. There were times when I had no idea why we were discussing a specific point at great length. There were few slides to enlighten me or provide structure to the sessions. In the end, I didn’t get much out of it and resented that I had given so much time to a wasted training experience.
My frustration got me thinking about communication styles and why they matter in
virtual training. To be clear, communication styles are not the same as learning styles. I’m not talking about whether people are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners.
The communication styles model in the NetSpeed Leadership® program introduces four styles: Anchor, Analyzer, Adventurer, and Achiever. Each of these communication styles has preferences and needs. When we communicate with people who do not share our style, we are bound to get better results if we consider their preferences and needs, not simply communicate using our favored style.
My two preferred styles are Analyzer and Adventurer. That means that I’m happiest when there is a logical flow, and when information is presented in such a way that I have time to digest it and synthesize it with other models. (That’s my Analyzer.) It also means that I value creativity and innovation in the design process. (That’s my
Adventurer.) I get bored with the same design approach used repeatedly (for example, read a book chapter, discuss the key points, and go into breakout groups to discuss a question).
However, when I design and facilitate a course, I must intentionally keep the needs of Anchors and Achievers in mind, not just design something that works for my communication style. That means I may need to allow time for personal connection (to meet the Anchor’s needs) and I may also need to have clear objectives and practical content (to meet the Achiever’s needs).
In our next NetSpeed Nuggets session, we will explore these four communication styles and how we can leverage them to create captivating experiences for all. Join us at this 30-minute, complimentary session, You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Training, on Wednesday, March 15, at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT. Registration is required.