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This personality type can help create a healthy workplace culture

February 4, 2024
Borderless Leadership

When it comes to communication, there are three effective strategies that can help you influence people and create a positive shift in their perspectives and actions:

1) The conveyor: this involves directing and telling people what to do, providing clear instructions and guidance to achieve desired outcomes.

2) The coach: this approach revolves around asking individuals how they would handle a situation, encouraging their input and guiding them towards their own solutions.

3) The challenger: by challenging the way people are currently approaching things and fostering healthy discussions, you can stimulate critical thinking, creativity and innovation, leading to positive changes in their behaviours and commitment levels.

Each of these strategies involves taking on a persona of some kind, in this article I will cover the conveyor strategy/persona and how this can help to create a feedback culture.

This strategy focuses on delivering information in a manner that prompts individuals to shift and act. When presenting information within this framework, frankness will be crucial, but your approach should be tailored to the individual, cultural context and situation. This is laying the groundwork for effective ongoing communication, and you may need to acquaint the person with this style if it diverges from their typical approach.

When taking on the role of the conveyor, the goal is to communicate from a point that integrates heart, mind, and body. This will enable you to feel what you want to say and to think about the person you are saying it to; to rationalize the situation to find the best way to say something so that it has the intended impact; and to present the message with congruence in your physiology and tonality. These skills represent the basis for the conveyor.

In this article, I want to specifically delve deeper into the role of the conveyor in providing feedback to team members because, when used and embraced purposely, it can be an effective strategy to positively impact people’s behaviors.

Time and time again I hear from businesses that want to incentivize a feedback culture within the organization because they understand the benefits that can be obtained when we take the time to share what we think about something, and when the person on the receiving end can learn and grow from the experience. Who doesn’t want that? But there are some potential challenges. The main one is when feedback is not one of the values of the organization, nor a common practice within your team. Another challenge is faced where people are not properly trained to give feedback. They may have frameworks but they don’t apply them because they are afraid of upsetting the other person or being disliked as a result. Can you relate?

The angle I’d like you to consider is that feedback is never about the person but their behavior, and its effectiveness will depend on how it is delivered and how it is received. It requires flexibility from both sides. A simple structure you can use to craft your feedback is:

  1. Highlight the behaviour
  2. Convey the impact the behaviour is having
  3. Offer a suggestion or ask for theirs

Let’s use an example. You have a colleague, her name is Carmen, and she is always on the phone during meetings, which creates disruptions. In giving her feedback on this, following the above structure, you could say something like:

● Behaviour: ‘Hi, Carmen, I’ve noticed you are on the phone during our meetings.’

● Impact: ‘This is creating disruptions and the meetings are taking longer than they need to because I need to repeat the information.’

● Suggestion: ‘Would you please not use the phone during meetings.’ Or, ‘What could you do differently in order to avoid using the phone during our meetings?’

In three simple steps you can go straight to the point, highlight the behavior and offer an alternative action. It’s not personal; it’s just that the person is acting in a way that is not serving the current environment.

The most common responses tend to be acceptance, justification or rejection. Which in our example might be along the lines of:

● Acceptance: ‘Yes, I will stop using the phone during meetings.’

● Justification: ‘I need to use the phone because this and that…’

● Rejection: ‘I don’t agree and I’m not the only one using the phone during meetings…’

Prepare for all scenarios and be ready to support the process with coaching questions and conflict management strategies. The above is an example of constructive feedback, which is what we need to grow and develop. However, you should balance it out with motivational/encouraging feedback every now and then. Following the same three-step structure, let your people know how well they are performing.

Master your feedback technique, make it a crucial value within your team dynamics and let the magic unfold. Some final recommendations for greater impact when delivering feedback are to always:

● Time it well

● Address one behaviour at a time

● Make it specific and actionable

● Seek a positive change

Be clear, concise and consistent in your communication and always tailor your approach to the person you are interacting with. Your role as the conveyor is not just about giving orders but about creating a pathway for success through effective communication and direction.

by Jose Ucar


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