We all have a specific communication style, a way in which we interact and exchange information with others. It’s important to understand each communication style, which one you tend towards and what affect they can have on your audience. There are many communication styles used in the workplace. But there are four main styles that form the basis of the rest. They are analytical, intuitive, functional and personal.
Learning to be flexible around your preferred style, could mean the difference between your audience hearing the message you need to convey or not.
The Analytical Communicator
Analytical communicators prefer facts to support what they say and use specific language. They want concrete data and numbers and have a strong aversion to vagueness. Those with an analytical communication style are more receptive to individuals in command of the facts and data. And they don’t identify well with emotional words.
Pros: People are likely to place value on your skill to dissociate from a problem and look at it from a logical standpoint.
Cons: People may regard you as cold or emotionless, especially true when interacting with personal communicators who value warm and conversational personal relationships.
The Intuitive Communicator
Intuitive communicators prefer to understand the ‘big picture’ and get to the point quickly. And they avoid being bogged down in too much detail. Unlike functional communicators, who like to hear things in perfect linear order, intuitive communicators would rather jump to the end.
Pros: People are likely to value you for your natural ability to see the bigger picture and your desire to challenge convention.
Cons: You might lack the patience for situations that reqire attention to detail. And since you are process driven and detail oriented, you may find it difficult to interact with functional communicators.
The Functional Communicator
Functional communicators focus on process and carefully think through plans, so they don’t miss a thing. They like to include every detail and reveal things in a step-by-step fashion, which is the opposite of intuitive communicators.
Pros: People are likely to turn to you to serve as implementer, due to your attention to detail. Others will value your love for process and detail, and look to you to act as devil’s advocate.
Cons: People may lose interest if you let your objective become overwhelmed with details, especially an audience of functional communicators.
The Personal Communicator
Personal communicators value relationships and connections with others. This helps them to understand what others are thinking and feeling. They are also great listeners, which means they’re able to assess all points of view in a dispute. And unlike the analytical communicator, they connect best with emotional language.
Pros: People will value your ability to listen, pick up on what others are feeling and solve conflicts.
Cons: You can come across as too emotional, especially when communicating with analytical communicators.
The first step is to understand which communication style you lean towards. And then learn how to match your communication style to that of your audience. Whether speaking with your boss, in a sales meeting or to your employees, modifying your communication style is fundamental in effective communication.