From the DiSC assessment to Myers Briggs there are different ways to evaluate, categorize and classify how we communicate with each other. Over the last 30 years, businesses have started using these reports as a way to build healthy teams and work together.
There are many benefits to understanding personal communication. There are also many benefits to recognizing communication styles in others. The insights that can be gained by learning about your personal style and how it interacts with other styles will set you up for success. According to Forbes, communication styles can generally be broken into 4 personality sections... which are you?
The Analytical Communicator:
An analytical communicator connects with data. Numbers and hard facts are the key to their hearts. They’ll generally approach situations from a logical point of view, often removing emotions from the equation. Sound like you? Here’s what you should know about how you communicate…
PROS: You’re a get sh-tuff done type of person and you’re valuable to many conversations. The analytical perspective you bring is a strong suit. You get straight to the point and your perspective is always needed on tough projects.
CONS: Although it may not be intentional, you can often come off as cold and unfriendly. This can lead to an impact on personal and business relationships. Try to look at how other communication styles may interpret your communication, and make adjustments depending on the person to avoid misunderstandings.
When one interacts with an analytical communicator, know going into it that they have an analytical mindset. Understand how they prefer to communicate and recognize the efficiency of their conversations. Don’t take things personally... if you feel they’re aloof, it may just be Tuesday.
The Intuitive Communicator:
How many of you know big-picture Billy? He’s got a million and one big ideas, yet always seems to somehow be working on something new. He is likely to be an intuitive communicator. This is someone who thinks big but can’t always see small. They are less concerned with details and more wrapped up in the idea.
PROS: One of the great things about intuitive communicators is their ability to get to the point about what their idea is. This person knows what and where they want their idea to go. They’re comfortable with big ideas and out of the box thinking, which allows others to feel comfortable sharing their ideas as well. This person promotes creativity and idea sharing on a team.
CONS: Two main things… patience and detail. Details are what refine and give an idea clarity. Details can frazzle intuitive communicators - they’ll need to make an extra effort to recognize the importance in detail.
If you are an intuitive communicator... watch out for functional communicators (people who painstakingly go from step A to step B to step C etc.), they are the toughest for you to see eye to eye on. Keep dreaming big and thinking bigger, save a little patience for those who help you achieve it.
The Functional Communicator
Do you find yourself calendaring out invites 30, 60, 90 days earlier than they need to be? You may be a functional communicator. Process and detail bring you to your zen place. You live that day to day, step by step, process oriented life because things are just supposed to be planned, right?
PROS: One great thing about you is that you don’t miss details. When you plan something, all the food has serving spoons and everyone’s favorite bev is in the cooler. You’re typically the implementer, which is much needed on teams (and yes, sometimes it does suck that it always has to be you). Plus, you make a great devil’s advocate… because you think of everything... stop doing that.
CONS: Your over-attention to detail often takes away the energy from the idea. Sometimes you’ve got to zoom out a few notches so everyone can get on the same page. They’re looking for the picture and you’re giving them each puzzle piece. Learn how to summarize your details to get to the point, you’ll get the idea across a lot more efficiently.
The Personal Communicator:
You know Amanda, the emotionally in-tune person. She’s got her heart and soul in every conversation and has a special way of pulling the how-it-made-you-feel out of a situation. She can read what you’re thinking just by interpreting your body language (which is sometimes creepy…).
PROS: Personal communicators have a great ease and ability to make deep personal relationships. They’re typically able to pick up on vibes that most don’t notice or pay attention to. They’re very in touch with people on the team and make sure everyone feels included.
CONS: Sometimes this style of communication can be interpreted as touchy-feely-foo-foo. For example, when Scott (the analytical communicator) wants budget numbers, his tone of voice can upset you (even on Tuesdays). Personal communicators can be known to take things one step too personal.
Still, personal communicators make great listeners and mediators. They have a gifted ability to “smooth things over”. They’re great to have on a team because they promote harmony.
You might see yourself in more than one communication style, and that’s okay. The truth is, communication is complex. Someone can be both analytical and personal. However, the point being, the more in tune you are with how you communicate and how you interpret communication from others, the more effective your communication will be.
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