Have you ever wondered how you can make your career launch better? In today’s episode, Terri Levine sits down with Pam Baker, the CEO of Journeous. Having a company that focuses on making career launches better, Pam dives deep in discussing the buzz word of the industry: adaptive communication. She discusses how entrepreneurs can become more effective in their career launches and connect better with others. Join Pam Baker as she teaches you more about adaptive communication to help you launch your career and build success.
Listen to the podcast here:
Making Career Launches Better Through Adaptive Communication With Pam Baker
I have with me Pam Baker. Pam is the CEO of Journeous. Pam, welcome.
Thanks. It’s great to be here.
We heard a buzz word, Adaptive Communication. What is that?
It’s pretty magical. It’s something that I found as part of the work we do at Journeous by watching my twin daughters. Like many entrepreneurs, I have a whole backstory about why we created Journeous. Our focus is on how do we make career launches better, but this adaptive communication that we’ve increasingly learned more about, we found incredibly helpful for people as they’re launching their careers. It’s at least as helpful for those of us who are well into our careers.Having the power of a diverse team is what allows an organization to move forward. Click To Tweet
Give me an example of what would be adaptive communication because I know you’ve used it at Journeous and had a lot of success with it.
The short story is it allows us to be more effective, productive and make the impact that we want, which is why it’s so useful for us as entrepreneurs and particularly those of us who are about tapping into the heart and making the impact that we want. The whole idea is how we can interact in a way that allows us to be efficient and effective in what it is that we’re trying to get across. A little bit of the backstory, I’ve got twin daughters, they’re now in middle school. What I learned from watching the two of them is that they each learn and communicate in a way that’s different. One of them learns and communicates as her teachers do. As all of us do, teachers are similar, we communicate in a way that’s comfortable for us. When I watched this information coming across to get through to my daughters, one of who was able to understand and make the most of it. The other one, because she learns and communicates differently, it wasn’t having the same impact. That’s what it looks like in school. There are lots of us who grew up in classrooms where the teaching was going on around us, but the dots weren’t connecting.
How do we know how to make the dots connect for somebody else? We’re an entrepreneur, business, maybe solopreneurs trying to connect with clients. We’re trying to connect with other entrepreneurs. How do we know if the dots are connecting for the other person?
One of the key ways that you can observe whether those dots have connected is the reaction you get back from the other person. When there’s this bit of a micropause or when you get back a “Huh? What?” that’s often a sign that communication didn’t happen. The basics of communication are in order for communication to happen, there has to be both a sender and a receiver. That sounds pretty obvious, but if you think of the game of telephone, there is a sender but the message as getting received doesn’t necessarily get translated in the way that it was conveyed. That same thing happens with all of us every day. The way you can tell is if you did a quick tally and looked at, “How many of the interactions that I’ve had over the last day or two days have I walked out feeling like that was easy, that was productive? I had a good conversation with that person.”
You created a separate one and you said, “How many of those did I leave feeling stressed out, frustrated or confused?” Usually for many of us, that second tally is a lot larger. What’s often going on is because we’re communicating in these different ways, the message isn’t coming across as we want it to. It shows up for us, mistakes getting made, meetings that are unproductive or we have them again and again. Ultimately, you’ve got lots of turnover within your organization. The neat thing is that adaptive communication is a skill to understanding these six different channels of communication. It was a scientific discovery back in the 1970s. It found that we all have access to all these six different channels of communication. If you think about walkie talkies, when you’re on the same channel, you can each hear the message. When you’re on different channels, it’s harder. The neat thing is that there are certain words that can tell you which channels you prefer. We can all use all of them. It’s not, “I’m this and you’re that.” We use all of them. It’s just which do we prefer.
Let’s say I’m talking to someone and there’s that micropause or that “huh?” What do I need to do to adapt?
You need to listen to their words. There are a few identifier words that each of the channels use. If you and I are looking at a report, for instance, you might say, “What do you think we should do next based on the data that we’re seeing?” I might say, “What’s your opinion about what we should do next?” Both of those words are identifiers of what is that person’s preferred channel. When I know that, I can simply adapt my language. There are some pieces around my tone that I can slightly tweak in order to get onto that same channel of communication. It allows us to get the message across the first time as opposed to trying to go at it a couple or three or four times.
The first one you said about the data that’s being seen. Is that like a more visual approach or you change your communication to more descriptive that way?
Some keywords or things like think, schedule, logic or the preferred words of a particular channel. Other words that a different particular channel might use are values, opinions or beliefs. There’s a third channel that will use words like feel or appreciate. A different person who prefers that third channel might look at the same report and say, “I feel as though we need to get more information before we make a decision.” It’s a few of these trigger words that you’re listening for. Coming back to were they even able to quickly engage and respond or was there a bit of a pause where they had to process? Because you were communicating in a way that wasn’t necessarily their preferred approach.When we take the mask off, you get to see that person for all of what they bring. Click To Tweet
They had to translate in their heads. Sometimes they translate right and sometimes they don’t. That probably addresses what you were talking about, the energy factor that when you’re clicking, you feel more energized leading the conversation. When you’re constantly translating and they’re constantly translating, you feel somewhat drained.
That’s one of the key pieces is that the interesting part when you listen for those words, for each of our channels, there is a set of distress sequences. We all face stresses all day long. When we fall into distress, there are certain patterns that we fall into. Not only can you listen for the words to know, “How do I get into an easier communication with this person?” You can also listen for, “I think that person,” or for ourselves as well, “I think I’m in some distress.” When that happens, that’s when miscommunication is likely. Once we fall into that cellar of distress, it’s very difficult for our message to get delivered or received. When you listen for some of those trigger words as well. For instance, I use the example of, “What do you think we ought to do based on the data?” or “What do you believe we ought to do?”
The classic signs of distress are people who are going to not delegate and over-control. They’re going to go into a situation of, “I got it. Forget it. I’ll do it. You didn’t do it the right way.” A different preferred channel would take a different tack where they are going to look for all the things that are wrong instead of the things that are right. They’re going to start pushing their beliefs on you in a way that can be uncomfortable for us. These are signs of distress. What we talk about is it’s a mask that covers up all the awesome attributes that person brings to the conversation or the interaction. When we take the mask off, you get to see that person for all of what they bring. That’s the power of understanding this and how to interact with the people around you is you get to tap into the awesome skills, experiences, perspectives and talents of the people that you’re working with.
I am a diversity and inclusion consultant. My thing is that we lose social capital when we don’t embrace diversity and what it sounds like we also have communication diversity. If we’re not able to adapt to someone else’s style, we’re missing out on all the gifts they can bring to the conversation or to our corporation.
In a world where jobs, careers and priorities are changing as rapidly as they are, having the power of the diverse team and all of those different skills and abilities is what allows an organization to move forward. When you don’t, not only does the disengagement of the people who aren’t being brought to the table because they’re communicated within a way that works for them, not only do you lose their skills but you also run the possibility that they’ll help to bring the rest of the organization down.
You also lose that perspective. Sometimes we need the one that challenges us or makes us see something different. How do our readers find out more about you and Journeous?
They can reach us on our website. It’s Journeous.com and we’d love to hear from people.
One parting thought that you would like to leave our readers with?
All I would say is tune-in to the words that you’re using, the words that you’re hearing the people around you use. Know that when those interactions are not as easy as you would like them to be, there’s something that you can do about it.
You can also join us on Facebook at #Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine, where you can connect with Pam Baker and other great minds for heart-centered ideas on how to change the world.
- #Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine – Facebook
About Pam Baker
Pam Baker is the founder and CEO of Journeous, committed to making career launches better.
She founded Journeous after a 20-year healthcare career spent building, leading and mentoring teams where she saw firsthand the challenge – for herself and colleagues – to create fulfilling careers and thrive at work. As a mom of two daughters, her goal is to change the pattern for others – to give them the tools to connect the dots between what matters to them and careers paths that fit, along with the skills to communicate effectively and easily with those around them. All in an effort to grow the ranks of spectacular leaders who gain the clarity to create the impact they crave.
Prior to Journeous, she was a Principal with Charles River Associates, a Life Sciences consulting firm, after her role as VP of Commercial Operations at Omada Health, and brings deep leadership experience across multiple functional areas. Her career started at Johnson & Johnson and Genentech leading cross-functional launch, sales, marketing, reimbursement and consulting teams, in addition to creating the needed infrastructure for organizational success.
Pam holds an MBA from Thunderbird and a BA in Political Science and Asian Studies from Northwestern University. She is the author of a blog focused on insights for leaders, https://www.journeous.com/perspectives/.
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