Good communication is critical to all relationships, business and personal. Sometimes though there are people with whom we just can’t connect, and it drives us crazy. You know that feeling. You want to hang up the phone or run for the door. When this happens, is there much hope for fixing the problem? Often not.
Where relationships founded on good communication break down, they can be repaired with proper coaching or therapy. But there are situations where you just know you can’t communicate with somebody. A recent HBR blog, How to Listen When Your Communication Styles Don’t Match, gives examples of two such situations and urges a combination of patient listening and confirming what you’ve heard as the best way to survive encounters with certain people. Is this enough? Definitely not.
Research has shown that certain personality types struggle to communicate, much less work constructively together. The Four Groups 4G personality assessment identifies these personality combinations, predicting that people in these relationships will spend up to 50% of their time together struggling over relationship issues rather than accomplishing productive work. It also predicts which people will work well together, at most spending 15% of their time on relationship issues, as well as predicting two levels of relationships of average effectiveness between the two extremes. Finally, the assessment actually quantifies the cost of difficult relationships in dollars of overhead, not to mention lost opportunities from poor collaboration.
The power of 4G to drive team effectiveness is enormous. For the first time, it provides a predictive tool for deploying people with others where the opportunity to collaborate can be realized without unexpected friction. As such, the tool is a major lever for driving team performance. It also has the potential to increase employee engagement by pairing employees with mentors and managers with whom communication and collaboration will be easy. For those coaching teams, 4G is a welcome addition to existing assessment batteries.