Communication, communication, communication. Or is it a lack of effective communication? I see and experience this often in my role as a business coach.

The employer/leader says to me, “He is driving me crazy; he frustrates me to no end. I can’t seem to penetrate him and get him to understand what needs to be done.” Well, my client is a hard-driving, bottom-line, results-oriented person. Therefore, when he speaks, he at times is like speaking in a foreign language. I have talked with his employee. He is a very mild-mannered, process-oriented person. And by the way, a good loyal employee. The bottom line, they are both equally frustrated. They both see the world differently. One is about results, and the other is about efficiency and process.

Does any of this sound familiar? People will usually communicate with each other in a way consistent with their own styles, so they often fail to communicate effectively. The solution is simple but not easy. In my experience, the leader must make the first move. To improve communication, you first need to totally grasp the other person’s behavior style, mannerisms, energy, and how they process information. We need to get where they are and adapt to their way of learning. Ask clarifying questions and intentionally seek to understand where they are coming from.

The best opportunity in your leadership lies in your ability to communicate in such a way that they say, “Wow, my leader really understands me.”