Impactful Communication: The diversity of thought

02 May 2022 Ai Iwami

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Communicating at work - whether it’s virtual, face to face, in large groups or in one-on-ones, it’s something we do every day. And most often it is a given that in order to successfully and collaboratively work in a team, and be effective in client conversations, you need to be a good communicator.
So, what makes a good communicator?
Team Parity recently participated in an activity using the Hermann Brain Dominance Indicator (HBDI) model where we found out what our natural communication preferences were. This was really interesting as it allowed us to see individual preferences, as well as how we stood as a team. Studies show that diverse ‘whole brained’ teams are 66% more effective than homogeneous teams.
The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument is a four colour, four quadrant model representing the ‘whole brain’. Each quadrant is a type of communicator. The idea behind the model is that if you understand what someone’s communications preference is, you can adapt your style to theirs so that the conversation is more impactful.
Here’s a rundown of the model:

There are the Blues – the fact-based area of the brain, who often look for the ‘what’ in a situation. They have a strong logical and rational side, most often highly technical and a lover of numbers.
The best way to approach or engage with a Blue professional, would be to have your facts ready, have a clear objective to any meetings and to stay relevant to the topic up for discussion – get straight to the point!
Greens make up the form-based area of the brain and are often most interested in the ‘how’ of any situation they are in or presented with. They are organised, methodical and detailed.
In a meeting with a Green professional, the more details the better. Have a plan of how did we come to plan x, how do we then get to x, what are the steps to get to x, what happens after x etc.

The Reds make up the feelings-based area of the brain, and they like to know the ‘who’ in any situation – they are personable, relationship driven and often very warm and engaging.
When sitting down with a Red professional, take the time to build rapport and get to know them before jumping straight into the facts – don’t treat them like a transaction.
Yellows make up the future-based area of the brain. Always thinking ahead, Yellow is often full of ideas and are highly imaginative and creative. They like to understand the ‘why’.

When engaging with a Yellow professional, don’t be afraid to talk about the bigger picture and future plans with them. If you’re setting them a task to do, make sure they understand the ‘why’ behind the task at hand and the role they play – this will help to reign in the ever imaginative and ideas driven Yellow to focus on the details.

Although you can definitely be a mixture of the four quadrants often you will find yourself leaning towards a preferred colour/quadrant. (Fun fact: Parity at the time consisted of 3 Blue, 4 Green, 3 Red and 3 Yellow! And me? 70% Yellow and 30% Red! Zero sign of any Blue over here).
In conclusion, they say opposites not only attract, but complement each other and it’s obvious that we need this diverse and varied mix within teams and which reflect clients in order to best communicate. This ensures a mix of ideas, new ways of thinking and different approaches to roadblocks big and small.
For hiring managers and professionals with large teams, diversity is likely a big part of your hiring process already. But diversity in an organisation should go beyond race, gender, and ethnicity. Diversity of thought will ensure your teams are balanced and teams will prove more efficient, by working together and considering more options and making better decisions!
Ai Iwami is a Marketing, Communications and Digital Specialist Consultant at Parity Consulting, beach lover, margarita drinker and mum to a toddler and cat. Ai specialises in placing professionals in Marketing, Communications and Digital roles across wealth management. She can be contacted on aiwami@parityconsulting.com.au or +61 451 193 774 for a confidential discussion.