Cultural Contribution

By Gary Hazelberg - Grandy & Associates

What type of company are you?  Are most of your staff very direct, all about getting things done; or very talkative, meetings go on forever, but nothing ever seems to get decided; or are you perfectionists that get stuck in the details. 

The best companies have a mix of communication styles.  In addition to having a mix of styles, each person should feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. This seems obvious, but in many companies, there is a majority of the team that are of one or two types of communication styles and the minority styles feel uncomfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas.

For example; If the majority of the team are perfectionists and interested in making sure things are correct but they can get analysis paralysis, how does the person who has the visionary mindset fit in?  When the visionary talks about an idea about the future, without having all the details worked out, they very likely might get looks of disdain or what planet did that come from? 

What’s wrong with being all of one communication style?   There is less friction at meeting, everyone talks the same language and life just seems more pleasant. The problem is nothing is getting challenged and the company has a difficult time growing.  Companies that are all the same communication style will wither and die, because no new ideas are brought up.  Opportunities will be missed

We can identify the communication style of everyone on your staff. When we do this, we can identify in a very logical way what kind of company are we.  What kind of people are in your company, every communication style is valuable but you must understand what kind of communication styles make up your company.  We recommend the DISC behavioral assessment tool. 

The DISC system divides the personality styles into four quadrants.

  • D = Dominant.
    • People with D personalities tend to be confident and are focused on getting things done even if someone’s feeling might get hurt.
  • I = Influencer
    • People with I personalities tend to be optimistic, very talkative and their emphasis is on relationships and influencing or persuading others. They tend to be less focused on the details.
  • S = Steadiness
    • People with S personalities tend to emphasis cooperation, sincerity, loyalty and dependability. They tend to hide their emotions and can be slow to change
  • C = Compliant
    • People with C personalities tend to emphasis quality, accuracy, expertise and competency. These are the perfectionists.  They can get lost in the details. 


These communication styles are identified through a simple test that can be given to each current employee and should also be used during the hiring process. 

Once you identify the communication styles of your current staff, especially owners and managers, you can see what kind of communication style is most common and least common in your company.

Once you identify this, you need to incorporate this in your hiring plan, to try to come as balanced as you can.  The hiring process is difficult, it is hard to get to understand someone in a brief series of interviews.  Often times managers and owners wonder, who is this person that showed up Monday morning, they are sure a lot different than what I interviewed. 

A pre-hire behavioral test can help to get to know the potential employee and see how they will provide value to your company.  You will also learn how to communicate with this person.  If they are a

  • D type personality they will like communications very direct, to the point with no small talk
  • I type personality will appreciate small talk before we talk about business
  • S type personality will focus on the process, what is step 1, 2 and 3
  • C type personality will want to hear and see the details usually in writing.

As a manager or owner this information is extremely valuable, so you can change your communication style so the person you are speaking with will have a better chance of understanding the point you are trying to make.

So, get to know your current staff, find out what kind of communication style is most common in your company and then go out and try to find people that will complete the picture and give you a more well-rounded company.  Make sure everyone feels comfortable stating their opinion by encouraging everyone to contribute.  It will pay off in a company that respectfully challenges the status quo and out performs the competition.

If you would like to learn more about this process, please contact us at: or give us a call to discuss how we can help you.

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