How Clear Are Your Communications With Others?

This has probably happened to you – you think your idea through and present it to others but, somehow, what you thought was crystal clear isn’t received as such and the results are less than expected.

Don’t worry. It happens to everybody, and hopefully less as time goes on.

But how does this happen and how can you change it? Because, in today’s world, the importance of a clear message has never been greater.

Here at Forte, we find that a clear message has two key elements. First, each of us is responsible for bringing as much clarity as possible to communication, whether it be verbal, written or visual. Secondly, it takes a true assessment of our listening skills, because that ultimately determines how we perceive what we have been presented.

Both are skills that, more often than not, we learn through real-life experiences of what has worked and what hasn’t. To succeed in life, we definitely want to rack up more successes as our communication with others evolves. The Forte Communication Style report is your first step to begin successfully communicating. Click here to get your complimentary report, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete and provides immediate results.

Some may say that good communication skills are only reserved for those lucky naturally charismatic individuals. Yet, even charismatic people will have stories to share about those times their message did not resonate, was misunderstood or – and this is where the listening skills come in – the recipient simply did not agree with the message.

This was one of the challenges in developing the Forte Communication Style Profile. How could we minimize – and hopefully, eliminate – the likelihood of miscommunication, because although the individual had worked hard to achieve clarity of the message, it was misperceived by the recipient.

Therefore, it comes down to perception. You have probably heard the saying, Perception is reality. That rings true, whether that reality be an experience, a message, a background, a methodology, a native language in a global world or simply a state of mind.

When we look at the Forte Communication Style Profile, we see three very different dimensions of actionable information. There is the individual’s Primary Profile – or who that person is – and how the individual is currently adapting to the specified environment over the most recent 30-day period. These two patterns are the result of self-perception, since they are the result of an individual’s own responses on the Forte surveys.

The third profile is the Perceiver Profile, which shares how the individual is most likely coming across to others in the current timeframe. It is based on observed behavior, meaning it is the product of feedback from others.

Ultimately, this is the potential point of miscommunication – an individual adapting to a certain environment a certain way but being perceived differently.

The good news is that once this is known, Forte offers a Communication Style Strategy (CSS) for the individual to use over the next 30 days to close that gap. With the ability to get Forte Adapting Updates as often as every 30 days, proactively utilizing the CSS strategy over a period of time will minimize the potential for miscommunication.

We have mentioned before that the best communicator is the best listener, and utilizing this Forte Technology to get your message across also enhances your listening skills.

If you would like to take advantage of this technology yourself, there are instructions at the top of this article that direct you to the Forte website. Try it, and we would love to hear your feedback.

Hiring The Right Salesperson…The First Time

You have likely heard the mantra, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something,” before. This holds true, whether it is a product or service, professional expertise or social entrepreneurship.

You can even extend this into government when elected officials “sell” improvements to the residents (aka taxpayers) of a municipality or state. The taxpayer “buys in” and pays taxes. The sale was made. The check clears the bank.

So, after four decades of helping organizations identify the respective strengths of their sales personnel, we have learned a thing or two.

Here are our basic rules for finding the best salesperson:

  • Above all else, the top-performing salesperson really needs to believe in the product or service he or she provides.
  • The right person must be competent in support of that product or service, as no amount of coaching will overcome an inadequate skill set.

What we find the vast majority of the time is the answers to what drives our client’s top performers are right before our very eyes. As you think about your organization, there are likely some individuals in sales – granted, other positions as well – whose performance comes to mind as something you would like to instill across the greater sales team.

Forté has a rich history of identifying and understanding those communication styles and behaviors that drive top performance:

Step 1: Ask top performers to complete their Forte Communication Style Survey

In this specific instance, we ask the top-performing sales personnel to complete their Forté Adapting Survey regarding “how my customer expects me to act in the close.” In professional services, it could be “how my patients expect me to act,” etc.

Usually, the top performers fall within the top 20 percent of the sales team. From here, we can aggregate the results of a number of top performers to form a “Top Performing” profile for use in recruiting, onboarding and coaching potential performers on the team.

Now that we have this information, we move to the next phase.

Step 2: Build the existing sales team to higher levels of performance.

Salespeople want to achieve. Their success clearly impacts their income and career. We find them very open to coaching or adapting strategies they know have been validated from their team, instead of some cookie-cutter process completed on a national level across a very broad scope of salespeople that may or may not even come close to the product or service they are selling. The buy-in to the process is significant.

Step 3: The Forté Performance Coaching process continues to reinforce existing top performers on how they are adapting to their customer/consumer so they continue to improve. We may also find an updated adapting/coaching strategy that is more effective.

This is not a “once-then-done” endeavor. Life goes on and as the organization grows, new opportunities for improvement present themselves. We can provide Forté Adapting Updates as often as every 30 days to stay in touch with evolving trends and maintain performance ahead of the curve versus falling behind it.

It’s like the old adage, “A rising tide raises all ships” – that’s exactly what we do.

If increasing your revenue is of interest, we would be happy to share specific examples with you and discuss how hiring the right salesperson the first time supports the ongoing growth of your business.

Building Your Competencies

The Forté i360 is a process in which a person receives both quantitative and qualitative performance feedback. The people who provide feedback are called raters and can include direct reports, peers, internal or external customers and the person’s leader.

The i360 is used to develop competencies for each person in an organization. You can use our default 8-competencies or modify to fit your own needs. The report is completely customizable.

To learn more, read about our i360 here.

What Are Your Top Performers Doing Differently?

Can you identify individuals within your organization that you would consider a “Top Performer”? Can you identify individuals within your organization that are not on the same level as your “Top Performer? If you answered yes to these questions, you could benefit from our Top Performer process in the Forté suite. To learn more, read Hoop’s current Insights article with the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.