You know how sometimes there seems to be a lot of talking going on, but not a whole lot of listening? That’s a communication issue and it might stem purely from differing communication styles.
According to HRDQ’s assessment What’s My Communication Style?, there are four distinct communication styles, each with their strengths and potential trouble spots.
If you want to have personable communication with others, you need to know your style AND be aware of the other styles, so you can flex.
If you don’t flex, you won’t be heard. Plain and simple
Communication Style: Direct
Direct people maintain a fast pace as you work single-mindedly on your goals. You are good in positions of authority that require independence. You possess strong leadership skills and get things done. Additionally, you:
- Get to the bottom line
- Speak forcefully
- Maintain eye contact
- Present positions strongly
- Tend to be decisive
- Thrive on competition
- Like to take risk
If you are NOT like this yet have to communicate with someone who is, keep these tips in mind:
- Focus on their goals and objectives
- Keep the relationship relatively business like
- Argue facts, not personal feelings
- Be well organized in your communications
- Ask questions directly
- Speak at a relatively fast pace
Communication Style: Spirited
Spirited people are enthusiastic and friendly. You prefer to be around other people and thrive in the spotlight. You work at a fast pace because you prefer the stimulation and are well-suited to high-profile positions. Additionally, you:
- Like to be persuasive
- Tend to be a good storyteller
- Focus on the big picture
- Use motivational language
- Build strong alliances
If these are not your strong suit and you have to deal with someone who is, here are some suggestions to remember:
- Focus on opinions and inspiring ideas
- Be supportive of their ideas
- Don’t hurry the discussioin
- Engage in brainstorming
- Be entertaining
- Allow them to share their ideas
As you might have guessed, I am a spirited communicator!
Communication Style: Considerate
Considerate people value warm, personal relationships. You are cooperative and enjoy being part of the team. You work best in an environment where teamwork is essential and are well suited for professions that require you to care for others. But wait, there’s more. If you are considerate, you:
- Listen well
- Use supportive language
- Build trust
- Value relationships
- Tend to be very reliable and steady
For some, all those squishy emotions can make you uncomfortable, yet to really communicate, heed this advice:
- Focus on your relationship with them
- Be supportive of their feelings
- Make sure you understand their needs (see last week’s post)
- Be informal
- Maintain a relaxed pace (even if it’s AGONY!)
- Give them time to build trust in you
For a great example of the Considerate communication style in action, watch Cam in the sitcom Modern Family!
Communication Style: Systematic
Systematic people are accurate and objective. You prefer to make decisions based on facts and are persistent in your analyses, maintaining a critical focus throughout your work. You thrive in task-oriented positions that require independent work. Furthermore, you:
- Present precisely
- Seek information
- Speak efficiently
- Excel at problem solving
- Prefer an organized work space
- Prefer clear guidelines
If you are more spirited or considerate, dealing with systematic folks can be tough. You seem to never get “through” to them. Keep in mind the following and see if things go better:
- Focus on facts, not opinions
- Be thorough and organized
- Provide data when possible
- Be precise in your presentations (no tangents!)
- Avoid gimmicks
- Allow time for their analysis
There you have it! Part 2 of the Personable Communication mini-series.
If you want to appear personable, you have to connect with others. In order to connect with them, you have to be able to communicate effectively with them.
And in order to do THAT, you must figure out which communication style you prefer, and how to deal with the other types.
Voila! You are now armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous!
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: “Yes, I think I have good people skills! What kind of idiot question is that!”