10 Quotes to Open the Lines of Cross-Functional Communications

More project-focused work, flatter organizations, increasing complexity, the rise of holacracies, evolving management structures…they all add up to more cross-functional teaming in the workplace. But based on the results of a study conducted last year, we may be a little too optimistic when we include the word "functional" in that description.  

The study of 95 teams in 25 leading corporations found that nearly 75% of these teams are dysfunctional. And one of the biggest problems many of them face is one of the perennial problems of business: communication.

It’s a particular challenge when you’re dealing with cross-functional interactions, because that often means you’re mixing together people who have divergent perspectives, interests, priorities and jargon. From our own research, we also know that that there are specific thinking preferences that tend to show up in different occupations and functions, and these can become almost like dialects of the brain.

In other words, someone from finance may struggle to "get through" to someone in marketing because, in many ways, they’re not even speaking the same language.

Communication That Makes Sense to Everyone

If you want more function from your cross-functional teams, you need to bridge that communication divide. In addition to showing the HBDI® pro-forma profiles of a variety of different occupations and revealing how different quadrants of the brain communicate, The Whole Brain Business Book, Second Edition, provides a number of exercises, models and tips anyone can use to be a more effective communicator, no matter who they’re interacting with.

Here are ten quotes from the book that you can share to help inspire your teams to apply Whole Brain® Thinking and open up the lines of communications:

"We experience the world around us as enhanced or filtered through our profile of mental preferences."

"The old saw that the Americans and the British are two peoples divided by a common language applies to those of us with dissimilar thinking styles as well. We assume we get what the other person means because we use the same words, but that’s not necessarily the case."

"People respond more positively when ideas, solutions or products are presented in a way that aligns with their thinking preferences."

"Improving communications does more than just relieve personal frustration; it means that things can move more quickly with fewer mistakes and missed opportunities."

"When the difference in thinking preferences and work requirements are both severely out of alignment, effective communication is least likely to occur. And when it does succeed, it is the result of intense focus and motivation on the part of the people involved. They really want to make it work."

"Once we understand how different preferences are influencing our own and others’ communications, we can adapt to the different dialects of the brain. It takes awareness and conscious effort, but the payoff is worth it."

"When Whole Brain team members learn how to express themselves in ways that are true to their thinking style but sensitive to other members’ styles, the chances are good that the team will be highly effective."

"No matter who you are trying to influence, when you’re better able to ‘meet them where they think,’ you’ll be more efficient, and you’ll have a better chance of getting the response you’re looking for."

"Increased awareness of the differences in how each quadrant of the brain communicates aids the communication process by enabling people to listen more purposefully to what they hear and say what they mean more precisely."

"When in doubt, use a Whole Brain approach to ensure that all audience members have their needs met."


Tags: Tips, The Whole Brain Business Book, Communication, Thinking Styles, Teams, Diversity of Thought, Productivity, Thinking Preferences, Team Development, Teamwork, quotes

The four-color, four-quadrant graphic, HBDI® and Whole Brain® are trademarks of Herrmann Global, LLC.



see all

The Whole Brain Business Book 2nd Edition

Read the first two chapters and order your copy today!