You also need to be conscious of the fact that different people prefer to receive information in different ways. That is, they may be naturally visual, auditory, or kinesthetic communicators. This aspect of communication is especially important when you are delegating a task. People who are 'Visual' retain information best when shown what is required. 'Auditory' individuals will grasp what you mean when they are verbally told. 'Kinesthetic' people prefer to be given a demonstration of what is needed.

Perceptual Preferences

These categories can also be dependent on the type of task you are asking someone to perform. For example, if a team member is having difficulty with something, then it may be beneficial to use another way of getting the information across, rather than providing more detail using the same communication mode.

This doesn't mean you need to repeat your instruction in three different ways, but you may benefit from using a supplementary form of communication to ensure your message is correctly interpreted.

Perceptual Preferences

For example, in an email you could:

• Remind the person of when they saw you or another perform the task. Or give the name of someone who performs the task - Visual
• Call them up to run through the instructions and give them the opportunity to ask questions - Auditory
• Give them the name of someone they can shadow - Kinesthetic.

Choosing the best way to inform or feed back to a member of your team should also take into account this aspect of communication.

Visual People - will put into pictures what they read, hear, or are told.

Auditory People - will use your tone, pitch, and other para-verbal signals to interpret meaning. They struggle to take in what they read unless it is supported by what they hear.

Kinesthetic People - will remember what was done rather than what was said. They are happy to be moving or making contact when communicating.

By communicating in a way that correlates with the individual's innate preferences you will ensure that your message is accurately received and interpreted. You should gather this knowledge as you observe your team perform their tasks and record how well they achieve their objectives.

The key to successful communications and delegation is that you retain control but give the individual the correct tools and support to perform the task. Your role is to focus on the required result and to give constructive feedback when monitoring indicates that more direction is needed.

You may also be interested in:
Effective Communication in the Workplace | Workplace Communication Styles | Recognizing Workplace Communication Styles | Attitudes to Communications | Communication Research | Using the RESULT Principle | Barriers to Communication .


Key Points

  • People may be naturally visual, auditory, or kinesthetic communicators.
  • Using a supplementary form of communication can help your message to be correctly interpreted.
  • Visual people put into pictures what they read, hear, or are told.
  • Auditory people may struggle to take in what they read unless it is supported by what they hear.
  • Kinesthetic people remember what was done rather than what was said.
  • Communicating in a way that correlates with the individual's innate preferences will improve the chances that your message is accurately received and interpreted.

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