Interaction Essentials: 3 Keys to Effective Relationships in the Workplace and Beyond offers straightforward insights and practices to address some of the most challenging sticking points in business today — ineffective communication, lack of teamwork, and unengaged employees — which are often caused by a lack of understanding of differences in interaction styles. Though most of us recognize that people have different ways of communicating, we often forget to honor those differences in ourselves and in others. Interaction Essentials provides useful, easy-to-remember frameworks for describing and working with those differences, helping readers to learn more about themselves and others, and opening the door to dramatically improved communication.
Over the course of over 25 years of research and hands-on experience working with personality style models, Berens developed her own powerful model called Berens Interaction Styles, making it relevant for those seeking to improve workplace communication and for anyone who wishes to have more effective relationships.
The book begins with an overview of the importance of interacting and relationships to individual wellbeing and workplace functioning, and organizes the material around three fundamental keys: Knowing Yourself, Making Space, and Shifting.
In the chapters covering the first Key, the reader is taken through a self-discovery process to better know him or herself using the Berens Interaction Styles model. Specific data points help to narrow down the selection of a "best-fit style," and the reader is engaged in the process of selecting among descriptions written in the first person, which are composites based on interviews with people of each style.
The chapters covering the second Key explore with the reader how to make space for him or herself as well as for others. These chapters cover self-leadership, how to recognize and reduce stress from the unconscious tension that can arise from interaction style differences, and how to recognize the patterns in others. It also offers specific action steps to accommodate the styles of others.
The chapters covering the third Key focus on how to actively shift verbal and nonverbal communications to build rapport. The Stages of an Interaction are explored through the lens of each Interaction Style so the reader can readily see what to change in their communications in order to relate better with those whose styles differ from their own.
The last two chapters focus on how to put the three essentials into action in the workplace and other areas of life. Topics covered include decision-making, management, conflict, teamwork, parenting, and important life decisions.
Appendix A is a Self-Discovery tracking sheet that can be used by the reader to aid the self-discovery process. Appendix B includes first-person and third-person descriptions of personality type from the popular workbook, Sixteen Personality Types; Descriptions for Self-Discovery, by Linda Berens and Dario Nardi, to aid in the self-discovery process. Finally, Appendix C provides the historical basis for the model and explains the relationships to other models of personality type.