Is your personality getting in the way of your communications efforts?

In its most basic form, communications happens when there is a dialogue between two people. Yet, how often do we see miscommunication instead of communication? Or one person shouting down the other? Or one person getting offended? Often, personality is behind miscommunication.

Over the weekend, I watched part of a panel presentation regarding civility in politics on CSPAN. One of the panelists said that civil communication only occurs when one person speaks and the other listens (and vice versa). It seems pretty straightforward, but in most communications efforts I see every day, it isn’t happening. In many cases, it comes down to personality traits that impede true communication.   These are:

  • Arrogance
  • Self-involvement
  • Narcissism
  • Insecurity

Your personality can make or break your communications efforts. Arrogant people will dismiss or debase your concerns, questions and input. Self-involved or narcissistic people will only focus on their own concerns. Insecure people will exaggerate their own accomplishments and/or put down yours or seek a way to make you look stupid.

I see examples of these personalities every single day on Twitter (people who never engage with other people are self-involved or those who don’t credit others may be insecure). And corporations are not immune, since corporations are run by people (although they aren’t people in spite of what Mitt Romney may think).

WTOP conducted a poll which found that Pepco’s customers were more dissatisfied than those of other utilities.  In my opinion,  this has to to do with Pepco’s arrogant communications efforts (generated by a company led/managed by arrogant people).

Do you agree? Are there other personality traits that affect communications? Please let me know in the comments.



About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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