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Overcoming Professional Ghosting: Try this first!

by | Dec 16, 2021

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We’ve all been there. That uncomfortable feeling when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, someone stops responding to our messages or isn’t taking our calls. No, we’re not talking about an ex-relationship gone sour, we’re talking about professional ghosting. 

Professional ghosting is a term defined as “when a business contact suddenly becomes unresponsive to all forms of communication, without explanation.” And, unfortunately, professional ghosting is occurring more frequently. 

No matter the reason for it occurring, being ghosted can leave us feeling confused, let down and disappointed. But is there something we can do to avoid this from happening in the first place? Or can we try something to remedy an uncomfortable situation? We believe we have the best, quick-fix solution that you should try first up: use the knowledge of Whole Brain® Thinking in your communications. 

Utilising Whole Brain® Thinking and understanding Thinking Styles™, you may be able to tailor your communications with people to increase your chances of achieving the response or outcomes you desire. For those who need some context, here are the details, and we’ll follow with some more in-depth things you can do immediately to try and turn things around with those ‘ghosts’. 

What is Whole Brain® Thinking?

The Whole Brain® Model is a metaphor for how we think. According to the Whole Brain® framework, each of us prefers a different way of thinking. Each style of thinking can be categorised into four thinking styles – analytical, practical, relational, experimental – as represented in the model. While we all have access to each quadrant, generally people will favour one, two or three.

Herrmann four-colour quadrant graphic
The four-colour quadrant graphic and Whole Brain® are registered trademarks of Herrmann Global, LLC. ©2022 Herrmann Global, LLC

Organisations typically apply the Whole Brain® Model and the HBDI® to specific thinking and people-related initiatives. However, the understanding gained from Whole Brain® Thinking can also give you the skills and techniques you need to better understand, connect and engage with others.

What are the four preferences of the Whole Brain® Model?

Each quadrant is made up of several clusters of specialised thinking: 

  • The Upper Left Blue A Quadrant specialises in logical, analytical, quantitative, fact-based thinking.
  • The Lower Left Green B Quadrant focuses on details and specialises in planning, organising, and sequencing information.
  • The Lower Right Red C Quadrant places a priority on feelings and the interpersonal, emotional and kinesthetic aspects of a situation.
  • The Upper Right Yellow D Quadrant synthesises and integrates information and is more intuitive and holistic in its thinking.

As you read the above, a few colleagues, recruiters or even family or friends may have popped into your head as you thought ‘yes that sounds exactly like X!’. We all draw similarities between the behaviours we observe and thus make assumptions about how people prefer to think. With this in mind, we should be able to make some conscious efforts as to how we can optimise our communications to get those ghosts talking.

To find out how to bridge the communication gap between yourself and others, get in touch with Herrmann today.   

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Using Whole Brain® Thinking to optimise your communication

The HBDI® asks questions that are related to both home and work situations and seeks to represent your total self. So it’s possible to use the knowledge to help both your work and personal life. Now we’ll go into some specific ways that you could tailor your communication to those different thinkers. 

The Upper Left Blue A Quadrant: The Analytical Mindset

Identifying them

The upper left A quadrant typifies logical processing, is clear and to the point. It is typical of an analytical thinker to answer the phone and announce their name. They don’t want to waste time with anything warm and fuzzy and if you’re telling them a story… keep it short!

Communicating with them

A blue thinker will often focus on the ‘What’.

  • What are the facts and figures?
  • What is the bottom line? 

Be careful not to invade their personal space, and ensure they have time to make decisions. If you want to have an important discussion with them, set a time to do this, do not spring anything upon them. Lastly, blue thinkers will appreciate when you ‘walk the talk’, as opposed to ‘talk the talk’, so keep this in mind when communicating with them.

The Lower Left Green B Quadrant: The Practical Mindset 

Identifying them

The lower left B quadrant is the structured and organised quadrant. The green thinker will often be immaculately organised, everything has its place and purpose. You’ll often see a to-do list on their desk or fridge, and they often get done what they say they will.

Communicating with them

A green thinker will often focus on the ‘How’.

  • How will this work?
  • How will we get the desired outcome?

When it comes to Green Thinkers, we need to acknowledge that trust and friendship will happen at a relatively slow pace. So if you’re new to this person, don’t feel worried if things seem a little distant. We should always make an effort to get to know them on a deeper level. If making or proposing a significant change, show them step-by-step how you will go about that change. Lastly, when a green thinker opens up to you, ensure to respond sensibly and sensitively as this means a lot to them.

The Lower Right Red C Quadrant: The Relational Mindset

Identifying them

The lower right C quadrant has an emotional, feeling and interpersonal orientation. A red thinker is generally in tune with their own emotions and those of others. They like to teach, are supportive and love to chat. On the contrary to blue thinkers, when red thinkers answer the phone they want to know how you are, how your weekend was, how your partner is… they’re pretty much prepared to chat just about anything.

Communicating with them

A red thinker will often focus on the ‘Who’.

  • Who are the people involved?
  • Who will this affect?

We should factor in that at the start of any communication Red Thinkers are going to want to chat for five minutes before diving into any detail. A red thinker will appreciate it if you demonstrate you like them and they will be highly motivated if you compliment them. Always give them your presence, attention and time and a red thinker will value you highly.

The Upper Right Yellow D Quadrant: The Experimental Mindset

Identifying them

The upper right D quadrant is associated with imaginative qualities. Yellow thinkers often have a very entrepreneurial mindset, they question the status quo. Others may describe them as risk-takers or rule breakers. When you have a conversation with them, you’ll often start somewhere and go off on tangents and forget where you started. 

Communicating with them

A yellow thinker will often focus on the ‘Why’.

  • Why is this important? 
  • Why can’t we do it this way? 

Where others see adversity, yellow thinkers see opportunity. They’re able to adapt and are more capable of seeing and appreciating the big-picture vision. You should be prepared to move at a fast pace when communicating with a yellow thinker. You should learn what the goals of a yellow thinker are, and communicate with them how you can help in achieving them. 

Incorporating Whole Brain® Thinking into your life for better communication

In practice, Whole Brain® Thinking teaches us how to recognise the thinking patterns and styles of our colleagues, family and friends so we can adjust our communication style as needed to enhance relationships and get better outcomes.

Looking to level up your communication skills? Check out our useful guide!

Click this box to download how-to guide for communicating with different thinkers

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