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Want to improve your communication skills?  It’s elementary!

12 Mar 2014

It can also help when pitching for business.  It’s surprising how many personality traits you can unearth before you even meet a client face-to-face.  Start by looking at the style of an email you’ve received.  It’ll be filled with subtle indicators that will lay bare a potential client’s values.  Is the email straight to the point?  Has it been dashed off in a matter of minutes or is it a meticulously written 25-page brief?  Is it littered with exclamation marks and colloquialisms?  By seeking out these pointers, you can glean a basic understanding of the sender’s personality and put yourself in a better position to respond in a way that they will instantly connect with. To get the best results it’s worth mirroring their approach.


The workshop focussed on how we can identify personality types through the four elements: water, earth, air and fire.  Each element possesses distinct characteristics that manifest themselves in our personalities.  Where do you, your clients and your colleagues fit into this matrix?  There are no hard and fast rules – it’s likely you’ll notice qualities of more than one element in your own or somebody else’s personality.


Water
People-focussed and compassionate, people who are predominantly water are caring and empathetic. They love harmony and avoid conflict.
How to spot them: They’ll want to know ALL about you; sometimes you wonder if they’ll ever shut up! But they’ll be the first to show understanding and console a heartbroken colleague.
Working with them: The more you put into this relationship, the more you get back.

Earth
Detail-focussed, methodical, process-driven and a lover of accuracy, no one dots the i’s and crosses the t’s like this element.
How to spot them: They’ll send you the most detailed of briefs. Detail is ultimately king as it ensures there is no room for error and ultimately allows for the most efficient way of working. They’ll put internal processes in place that would intimidate even the Inland Revenue.
Working with them: Be conscientious and treat them to lots of lovely detail.


Fire
Results-focussed and full of zeal, they are driven by success. They enjoy leading, but don’t expect any small talk.
How to spot them: See above.
Working with them: Ditch the fluff and cut to the chase.

Air
Fun-focussed, sociable and gregarious, they are creative multitaskers who get bored easily.
How to spot them: It’s pretty simple really! They’re ideas people… and probably avid lovers of Buzzfeed!
Working with them: Keep it fresh, keep them stimulated. Happy days.

So next time you tackle your inbox, see if you can spot which elements are dominant in the people who have sent them.  You might just secure your company some business.  Let us know how you fare!

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