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Communicators that Connect with Compassion: It’s all about helping others

Compassionate connectors give weight to relevant personal details so they can connect resources to what people need in any given situation. For them, words are are meant to acknowledge people and learn about their needs. Always ready to lend a hand (or an ear) to the needs of the people means they are sought out by others. They are often recognized as the go-to person because of all the details they are able to acquire and store. Amidst managing all the details of what other people need, they may forget to give attention to their own needs.

They speak the language of empathy. When creating a plan or designing a process their focus is on addressing and meeting needs. They are inspired to action by people and making a difference in the lives of those around them. Encouragement is second nature and they quickly acknowledge and affirm the efforts of others. They ask questions to gather helpful details about people and weave that into the process for their day, their project, or their relationships. 

Compassionate Connectors are one of four communication styles you find in teams trying to work together. In this series of blogs we are focusing one blog post on each style: Problem Solvers, Bridge Builders, Strategic Thinkers and Compassionate Connectors. Let’s explore a few ways communication plays out for a Compassionate Connector when they are on a team! 

Compassionate Connectors on Your Team

Meetings

They prefer fewer  meetings because it takes time away from the many things they are trying to accomplish as they navigate their “need meeting” efforts. Meetings are helpful when they are practical and people focused. Time spent circling around ambiguous ideas or theories feels like wasted time to them. To work well with a Compassionate Connector: Stay focused on the people side of the work. Involve them in discussing what can be done right now to make a difference. Be specific and concrete with what action to take. Affirm and celebrate how they improve the process and impact people.

Problem Solving

The problems that rise to the top are those that touch people, make work harder or frustrate processes. They propose solutions that will solve people’s problems and process problems. They seek common ground among different approaches. They expect others to create a relationship connection with them BEFORE challenging their opinions. 

Setting Expectations

Clarify what is in it for others, what is in it for them, and what it is important in any given task. When they get overwhelmed, don’t spend time brainstorming what to do. Instead, jump in and lend a hand to get it done. Then, review and learn from the experience, highlighting what can be shifted going forward along with specific affirmation of what has been accomplished. Offer time to vent when things don’t go as expected >> don’t be too quick to offer advice, the processing time will often help them find their own solutions.

Tips for Your Compassionate Connector:

Tips to connect with a Compassionate Connector:

  • Offer practical solutions that help now
  • Connect with them while they multitask
  • Express an interest in them personally
  • Give them permission to take time for their own needs
  • Share specific encouragement and positive feedback 

Tips to moderate your style if you are a Compassionate Connector:

  • Resist the urge to point out the impractical 
  • Notice when you repeat yourself and pause to gather your thoughts
  • Calmly and directly express your needs
  • Don’t take it personal, instead notice the results important to others
  • Step back and look at the situation objectively to explore alternative views

What’s Next?

Spend time this week familiarizing yourself with the Compassionate Connector communication style. What did you learn?  Who do you know that appears to have this communication style? What is one step that you could take in the next week to connect on a personal level with the Compassionate Connector on your team?

Give it a try. Comment below with your ideas to appreciate a Compassionate Connector, what you tried or how it worked!

Enjoy the journey! If you haven’t downloaded my Communication Style Assessment, get it right HERE and and future blogs will be delivered right to your email.

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center of Coaching Excellence.

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