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Communication: Not Just the Key, but the KALE to Healthy Relationships

People like to say that “communication is the key to healthy relationships.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Open, honest and timely communication has benefits that far outweigh the effort of doing so.  If I had to draw a parallel to the health benefits that communication has on relationships, I would liken it to the health benefits that kale, America’s favorite green super-food,has on the human body…

Jkale communicationust in case you haven’t heard of this “it” veggie, take note: kale has been known over the centuries for its health benefits because it is edible (if not tasty) and packed with nutrients.  Kale is widely regarded as one of the healthiest foods humans can consume-edging out spinach and broccoli in most reports. 

So, what does kale have to do with communication? I like to say that “communication is the kale to healthy relationships,” making them healthier and more vibrant-whether the relationship is personal, professional, transitional or lifelong. 

Think of it this way: how much more healthy, productive, satisfied, confident, efficient and profitable would we be if we had open and honest lines of communication with each person we touched?

communicationIn the workplace, at home, or any place where we have relationships with people; open, honest, timely communication goes a long way in establishing trusting, healthy relationships. So, the burning question is, how can we improve our interpersonal communication and therefore our relationships?  Considering that we don’t all walk around with nutrition labels on our sleeves, our recipe for improved communication should begin with introspection.     

Here is a simplified breakdown of our recommended process:

  1. Start with knowing yourself, what you prioritize, and why you behave, react, or think the way you do. 
  2. Then, seek the same out in the people with which you are communicating.  Learn what drives their behaviors and what they prioritize.
  3. Finally, work to better communicate with people by not only being aware of your similarities and differences, but also acting on them.

There are plenty of tools available in the marketplace to “map” behavior patterns and create awareness.  The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and DiSC® behavior profiles are two tools that are widely used for this purpose (Learn more about DiSC® behavior profiles in this quick VIDEO). Both tools are on-line assessments that result in identifying behavior types of the participant.  The participant becomes more aware of their behavior and through optional coaching sessions or training classes would be able to begin using their new knowledge to “read” others with the goal of improving communication.

In the workplace, we have used the DiSC® tool extensively to improve internal communications within client organizations.  There is great application for this type of work with the following groups:

  • Leaders who want to help their team be more effective
  • Departments that are operating in siloes
  • Team members who are having difficulty working together
  • Project team members who are trying to achieve a specific goal
  • Manager and direct reports who want to improve work style effectiveness

DiSC® assessments and accompanying workshops help to identify employee’s various personality traits and management styles. This information and approach results in a service culture that is more unified as everyone starts to speak the same language. While we all may not share similar interests, like the same foods, or communicate alike, everyone can agree that positive relationships and open communication is a preference shared by all.  If your teams can begin to communicate effectively and become more unified, you will start to experience benefits akin to those “superfoods”, an organizational powerhouse packed with a high content of vibrant, productive employees!


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  • For more information on our DiSC® workplace solutions, check out our suite of SOLUTIONS