There's a lot more to communicating than just knowing how to string words together and provide straight–forward answers to questions. It's important to recognize that there are many different ways to communicate and that each way is dependent upon the individual.
Whether you're a manager working with a team or a team member working with your coworkers to reach a goal, here are the different communication styles you might encounter:
Looks for direct lines of communication and stays focused on tasks.
Makes decisions quickly, confidently, and practically.
Can be dominant in discussions, which may lead to being impatient and insensitive.
Doesn't like being questioned, especially if he or she is the one providing directions.
Doesn't waste time and sets goals to get things done quickly.
Has an enthusiasm that makes the individual approachable.
Speaks with animated gestures.
Is willing to make changes and be creative to reach goals.
Thinks out loud and involves others in decisions.
Desires to support others and is sensitive to their needs, making the person vulnerable to criticism.
Decisions are based on personal wishes, needs, and desires and often lack details and follow–through.
Tends to support the decisions of others rather than provide his or her own direction.
Is dependable, relaxed, and supportive.
Listens carefully to what others have to say and provides genuine responses.
Can be seen as being too passive or indecisive, because of his or her support of others.
Doesn't always share true feelings to keep from creating confrontation with others.
Is always prepared, ready to analyze, and searching for the details.
Likes to make lists so that he or she can keep all of the facts out in the open.
Strives for accuracy when trying to get his or her point across.
May be too cautious or inflexible when it comes to making decisions.
Adheres to high standards that others might find critical or insensitive to the needs of the group.
Likes to ask questions and look for solutions to problems that others have overlooked.
Did you recognize what style of communicator you are? Did you determine the styles of your coworkers or managers? Once you recognize the differences between how you and others pass along and interpret information, you can begin to see where there are positive and negative relationships between those styles and how to build solutions to any problems that stem from differences in communication styles.
Written by Life Advantages – Author Delvina Miremadi © 2011
A Simple Way to Keep the Flu Away
You can avoid the flu this season by taking one simple step: Get a flu vaccination.
Unfortunately, some people think that getting a flu immunization is too much trouble or costs too much. Or, they swear that a flu immunization will make them sick or make them more likely to catch the flu –– or even colds.
Influenza –– the flu –– is caused by one of several strains of influenza viruses (type A or B) that infect the nose, throat and lungs, making life miserable for a week or two for many people –– and deadly for some. Flu season can peak anywhere from late December to early March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Your best defense against the flu is to get immunized. Depending on your age, you can do that in one of two ways:
With a flu shot, given with a needle. This form of the vaccine contains killed virus and is approved for all people over the age of 6 months.
With a nasal–spray vaccine. This form contains live, weakened flu viruses that cannot cause the flu. This form is approved for healthy, non–pregnant people ages 5 to 49 years.
A flu vaccination is most important for children 6 months and older; adults ages 50 and older; anyone with a chronic disease; anyone who lives in a nursing home or other long–term care site; health care workers; and people who are in frequent contact with the elderly or chronically ill. The CDC says children 8 years old and younger who are immunized for the first time should get two full doses of vaccine, one month apart.
Doctors also advise flu shots for women who plan to be pregnant during flu season. Flu shots are OK for breast–feeding mothers, the CDC says.
Even if you don't fall into one of the above groups, you are still a candidate for the vaccine if you want to avoid the flu.
Talk to Your Doctor First
Some people should not be vaccinated for the flu before talking to their health care provider, the CDC says. Talk to your doctor if:
You have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
You have had a severe reaction to a flu immunization in the past
You developed Guillain–Barre syndrome within six weeks of a previous flu immunization
Children younger than 6 months of age should not be immunized against the flu, because the flu vaccines have not been approved for that age group.
If you are ill with a moderate or severe illness that includes a fever, you should wait to get vaccinated until your symptoms lessen, the CDC says.
Other Prevention Steps
Flu viruses are spread by contact with droplets sneezed or coughed from an infected person. Inhaling the droplets is the most common route to getting the flu, but many people also become infected by touching objects the droplets have landed on. You can spread the virus to others before you feel sick yourself. The CDC says you are infectious a day before symptoms begin and up to five days afterward.
You help protect yourself against the flu by doing simple things like washing your hands before eating and not putting your hands near your face or in your mouth. You don't need special cleansers when washing your hands; washing for 15 to 20 seconds with ordinary soap works fine. If someone in your family has the flu, you can keep surfaces clean of the virus by wiping them with a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water.
The other effective means of flu prevention is humidity. The flu bug exists in higher quantities in dry nasal and oral passages, which is one reason why flu epidemics occur in dry winter months. By raising the humidity in your workplace and at home to keep your nasal passages and mouth moist, your body will be better able to flush out the flu bug.
Treating Yourself at Home
When you are exposed to the flu, the virus incubates for three to five days before symptoms begin. You probably have the flu if you come down with a high fever, sore throat, muscle aches and a cough (usually dry). The symptoms in children may also include vomiting, diarrhea and ear infections. Flu is usually self–treatable but has to run its course. You can treat symptoms by getting bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, taking acetaminophen for aches and pains, and using a humidifier to keep nasal passages moist.
Expect the flu to last about five days, which is the time it takes your body to produce the antibodies that finally beat the infection. After that you will be protected from that strain of influenza for the rest of the season. Some people continue to feel ill and cough for more than two weeks. In some cases, the flu can make health conditions such as asthma or diabetes worse or lead to complications such as bacterial pneumonia. Adults older than 65 and people with chronic health conditions have the greatest risk for complications from the flu, the CDC says.
Four prescription drugs are available to treat the flu –– amantadine, rimantadine, zanamiyir and oseltamivir –– but must be taken within the first two days of illness to be effective, the CDC says. They can reduce the length of time flu symptoms are present. These medications usually are used in hospital, nursing homes and other institutions where people are at high risk for complications of the flu. Talk to your health care provider if you think you should take one of these medications. These medications are not meant as a substitute for vaccination.
How to Use Your EAP
When help is needed call 1–800–433–2320 . The intake staff will ask for your name, employer and a brief description of your presenting concern. If an emergency exists you will be given immediate assistance. If your situation is not an emergency, you will be offered telephone assistance and/or in–person sessions to complete an assessment and make a referral for treatment if needed.
Meetings with your counselor are completely confidential. Your employer will not know you have used the EAP. No one will be provided any information about you without your written consent. Exceptions would occur only in the event of you being considered dangerous to yourself or someone else.
At the first appointment you should be prepared to give the counselor some background information to assist in formulating an action plan. Many people find it helpful to prepare a list of things they wish to discuss at each session.