Communication is an integral part of our daily lives. It’s all around us; and yet many people don’t know how to communicate effectively with their colleagues.

The problem lies in their inability to fully understand their audience. How can you expect to communicate effectively if you don’t know where the person is coming from?

If you want to be able to relate to your colleagues on a personal and professional level, you first need to know what drives and motivates them. Who are they as individuals? What are their likes and dislikes?

“Until they know what drives their behavior and until they know what their behavioral styles are, they can’t relate to each other,” says Jim Bos, co-owner of MBJ Group, a talent management company.

So how do you determine your behavioral style is and use it to relate to someone else? That’s where communication tools come into play.

Communication tools are essentially categories to define human motivation, drive and behavior. The assessments help individuals understand what their styles say about them and their team members. Until you recognize these elements, he or she may have difficulty effectively relating to other team members.

“If I don’t relate to you, then I’m basically talking past you so you do not understand what I am trying to communicate,” says Jim. “We have to figure out how the various styles of functioning work together.”

Your driving forces – based on six keywords on a continuum – allows you to see the impact they have on each other and you as a unique person. Each of us is a combination of all our driving forces, and looking at them in clusters allows us to truly understand our underlying causes for motivation.

Then, behaviorally, there are four styles of functioning: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Each style has a specific way to communicate to that particular style.

By delving into your specific style characteristics, you can determine the type of person you are based on how you do and don’t do different things.

In this way, business professionals can get a better idea of their individual styles and how to use these styles to relate to other members of their organization. This is can be done in a communication seminar for individual groups or teams. The communication team seminar, can last anywhere between two to four hours, depending on the number of individuals involved.

Business professionals complete a pair of assessments online, which develops reports giving the professional insights into their passions and how they compare to others on their team.

“You have to understand where people are coming from,” says Jim. “If I know what excites you and what your passion is, then you can talk more directly to others as opposed to talking past them. This is what a team communication session can do for you and your team.”