August 26, 2021

Style Tips for Smart Advisers

My family does despair of me.
I’ve become used to their eyeballs rolling and long sighs emerging.
Their head-shaking appraisal of me when I try to dress in anything other than my jeans and a plain casual shirt.

(I blame Lockdown.
It’s so tempting to leave my frayed jeans or jim-jams on, even with a zoom call!)

Then I get a standing ovation when I manage to coordinate colours from top to bottom. Occasionally, I even manage to find paired socks!

It’s clearly a blind spot for me.

Yet we all have it in abundance.
Each of us is more stylish than we think
Even me!

We have such powerful style.
Communication style.
Communication style that becomes increasingly hard-wired.
Communication style that we use to validate our importance in this world.

And – sharing what I’ve observed during 20 years of coaching – it gets us into a whole lot of trouble!

On a regular basis.

With our clients.
With our colleagues.
With those we love most.

“What On Earth Is Wrong with You?” we mumble to ourselves.
“It’s Perfectly Clear What I Meant/Want/Don’t Want!”

(Thoughts: “Hmmph. And I thought she was smart. Must be having an off-day.”)

“Well, I’d love to know what you both think about the report and plan we’ve drawn up for your financial future?”

(More Thoughts: “Hmmmph. Gonna have problems with these clients. Can’t seem to understand the simplest concept.
Even though my technical supremacy is bound to help them!”)

Thank goodness I’m able to turn to my coach, Jane, to remind me.
(Yep, every coach worth their salt has a Supervisor Coach to turn to.)

To remind me why Planners, Leaders, Clients and Team Members often don’t understand each other.

Too often.

The thing is…
Nobody teaches us how to investigate our communication style.
Do they?
It’s not a run-of-the-mill To-Do-List project.
“Tell me. How’s your communication style, my man?”

Then when others don’t respond to our style as we would (“Why can’t you be logical and sensible like me?”) …
Well, we get pretty hacked off, don’t we?

And ‘hacked off’ creates all sorts of unfortunate, unpleasant outcomes in business. In anything.

Outcomes which squash client relationships.
So that they remain mediocre and dutiful.

Outcomes which paralyse the passion and innovative thinking of a team.
Outcomes which create responses and reactions which damage relationships all around us.

What to do?

Well, I’ve decided to help my clients by working with them through their ‘Communications Style Inventory’.

Sounds impressive, huh?
That’s because it is.
(My superbly insightful coach, Jane, knows stuff like this, you see)

A powerful way of understanding how you can – completely accidentally, mind you – confuse, demean, diminish, belittle and hurt others.

Without the slightest idea you’re doing anything wrong!
With those colleagues whom you declare you love-to-pieces.

Perhaps your coach/consultant/mentor/guru/mate/bosom-buddy has one of these things. These ‘Communications Style Inventory’ things.

Worth a try, methinks.


I’m still looking for socks that harmonise with my pink striped shirt and spotted blue tie!

And awaiting the applause…