4 Styles of Communication You Need to Be Using (And Why)


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Finding the most effective way to communicate is 90% of the battle when it comes to successful management.

Article 4 Minutes
The 4 Styles of Communication You Need to Be Using

Communication is something that is at the heart of every successful team, but do you know what type of communicators your employees are and how to best work with them? Getting to the bottom of this will lead to better understanding across your group, allowing higher productivity levels and collaboration.

Writing for Forbes, Mark Murphy identifies four key categories of communicators in the workplace; Analytical, Intuitive, Functional and Personal. Get your team to complete the free assessment to determine what your preferred techniques are, and then you can identify the ways that you can work most cohesively as a group.

Analytical Annie

As the name suggests, Analytical communicators focus on data and figures to make decisions, making them wary of anyone who acts without this information at hand. Understandably, they are at home with KPIs and goals but dislike vague or flowery language that steers away from specifics.

Analytical communicators can have problems with interpersonal relations or group work as their reliance on data and statistics can make them appear devoid of emotion, which can see them be at loggerheads with Intuitive and Personal communicators.

To communicate focus on data.

Intuitive Isla

Intuitive communicators look for the bigger picture in everything and don't want to get stuck on smaller details, which is why they can clash with Analytical types. Instead of looking for the steps along the way, Intuitive communicators prefer a broad overview that allows them to quickly address what problems or actions need taking.

Because they don't get stalled by specific details, Intuitive types can make great innovators but they can also risk missing a crucial point that is found in the smaller details. They are likely to experience problems working with more methodical workers on the team or get inpatient that discussions aren't progressing quickly enough.

To communicate focus on company objectives.

Functional Frank

Comfortable and trusting of the process, Functional communicators like to go through steps methodically to reach an end conclusion. They work best with details, timelines, strategies and plans, and will work to make sure no small detail is missed along the way. One of their biggest strengths is in project management and implementing new strategies as everyone on the team will be confident that it will be executed to a high standard.

The risks of Functional communicators is that you could alienate the other members of the team, especially if they are Intuitive or Personal communicators, by getting fixated on specific details or stages of the process.

To communicate focus on the process and end goal.

Personal Patrick

Personal communicators focus on connections, making them exceptional listeners and sounding boards for implementing new strategies. They respond well to emotional language and can work well when it comes to smoothing over conflicts in the team, making them strong individuals to lead the team on a pastoral level or understand employee morale.

Often Personal types can pick up on how the team is feeling and whether they are working productively together, but can be dismissed by other employees, especially data-driven Analytical communicators

To communicate focus on the issues underlying the problem.

Communicating as a team

Understanding what type of communicator you are, as well as that of your team, can help you identify strategies to more effectively work alongside them. In addition, it helps to ensure they can work well as a group of skilled individuals and that the management team is aware of the strengths and risks of each type of communicator.

It can also be exceptionally important when talking to them about their own personal goals for progression, where getting them to clearly understand and engage with what you're saying is absolutely key.

As with all employee management, it's not that one style of communication is better or worse than the other, it's simply about understanding how people respond best.

In his Forbes article, Murphy says:

The key is to first understand your own particular communication style so you can match your communication style to that of your audience. Whether you’re speaking with your boss, a small sales meeting, your employees or an audience of thousands, matching your communication styles to the folks you need to hear your words is an essential step to effective communication.

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