Good communication stands as a key component to all successful human interactions. While the old saying “treat others how you want to be treated” remains a good way to live your life, in terms of customers and employees it should be tweaked.
Treat others like they want to be treated works better when dealing with the staff and shoppers in your bakery, says Renee Rouwhorst of Ryke’s Bakery in Muskegon, Michigan. Below is a summary of Rouwhorst’s educational session, “Reading Your Customer: Meeting People Where They Are,” presented at the recent RBA Roadshow in Austin, Texas.
According to Psychologist William Marston’s research, people fall into four basic types in terms of how they behave and communicate. Most of the time we are all a combination of two or more of these types and contain attributes from all, but usually one type dominates.
Four Basic Communication Styles Based Types
- Dominant – Dominant communicators focus on tasks rather than relationships, keep a fast pace and act quickly. Handle these personalities with efficiency and be brief. They’re there to get the job done so get to the bottom line and let them feel in control. Do not beat around the bush or get personal.
- Conscientious – These communicators are also task focused, but take a slower pace and think things through more thoroughly than dominant types. Talk facts with them, be accurate and give them the exact details of what and when. Do not be vague, illogical or overly casual.
- Influence – Fast paced and quick to act like the dominant, but relationship focused. Show interest when you deal with them. Personal involvement and compliments will go a long way. Do not dwell on details or get right to business too quickly.
- Steadiness – This type is slower paced and thinks things out more and also focuses on relationships rather than tasks. Be easy and agreeable with them. Keep things informal and give them a little more time to make a decision or figure things out. Do not hurry or be confrontational.