This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

McGee on communication styles

Jim McGee, in his first two articles in ESJ talks about how "techies" and "management" communicate and the cultural divide between them.  New ESJ column on the IT cultural divide:

Part two of my column on Bridging the IT Cultural Divide, Part 2 is up at ESJ. This installment looks at the issue from the side of management. The first column, Bridging the IT Cultural Divide, Part 1, started from the techie's perspective.

He characterizes techies as being more literate (written), rational, analytical.  And management are more oral, linear, situational.  I suspect this particular divide, particularly in its prototypical form, highlights the value of understanding your style and that of those around you.  Style might be communication style, as in Jim's example, or it might be thinking style, personality style, etc.  Myers-Briggs comes to mind as does Blanchard's Situational Leadership workshops, along with many other concepts around understanding how people operate (Google on communication styles, personality types, thinking styles).  There are even educational theories that talk about various learning styles which require corresponding teaching styles.

Not everyone agrees with the value of these personality style evaluations, as they cannot provide a complete picture.  But they do have value in pointing to important differences and similarities between people.  In Jim's example, he's suggesting that the styles of "techies" and "managers" are so different that they frequently cannot communicate with each other.  He also suggests that both sides of the divide open their eyes to see if they can modify their style when communicating.

In the end, this is sound advice.  Understand with whom you are communicating, and modify your discussion / presentation / writing with that in mind.

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