Your communication style can have a large impact on how well you work with others as well as how effectively you can lead a group of people.
It’s important to know your style of communication so that you can overcome your flaws and highlight your strengths. You might know your style just because you know how you operate, but if you don’t, it might be a good idea to take a communication style assessment.
It’s especially valuable if you’re in a leadership role at work, or are often tasked with working in a group.
There are four distinct communication styles. They are direct, spirited, considerate, and systematic. Each style has a different way of getting their ideas and opinions across as well as different methods in how they listen to others. Below are brief descriptions of the different communication styles.
PeopleTek Coaching uses four bullet points to describe each of the communication styles. They are as follows:
- Direct- gets to the bottom line quickly, speaks with force, maintains eye contact, presents opinion/position strongly
- Spirited- persuasive, tells good stories, focuses on the bigger picture, uses motivational speech
- Considerate- a good listener, good counselor, uses supportive language, builds trust with listener/speaker
- Systematic- presents position precisely, focuses on the facts, efficient on speech, well organized in the workplace
None of the communication styles are better or worse than the others, but they are more or less useful in different situations. It’s also a good idea to try and identify what type of communication style the people you work with utilize. This can help you get through to them quicker.
Direct communication style: When talking to someone who has a direct communication style, you want to get straight to the point. There’s no need for you to make the conversation, email, memo etc. personalized and there’s no reason to beat around the bush. If you need something from someone with a direct style, you’ll get the greatest response from just asking him or her for what you need.
Spirited communication style: Someone with a spirited communication style may be harder to communicate with. Typically you’re going to need a consistent way in which you communicate because if you go from talking in person, to emailing, to texting, they’re not going to stay focused. People with this style take a little longer to organize their thoughts and come up with ideas.
For this reason, you should keep in constant contact with this person and make sure that you’re still on the same page with your work, projects, or event you’re planning. You should give them advanced notice if they’re going to need to come to the table with some sort of information because it is sure to take them longer than the other styles.
Make sure to build a positive relationship with this person, because a lot of their communication is based on their relationship with the speaker/listener.
Considerate communication style: These people are more emotional than logical, so when communicating to them, make sure you consider their opinions. They will listen the best when they feel important to the conversation and as though their opinions on the subject are truly valued.
You don’t have to treat them differently than other co-workers but taking an interest in their lives will go a long way when you need something from them down the road. When you need them to do something for you however, try and frame it in a way so that it’s a request rather than a demand.
Yes, you need it and they may not have an option, but again, be considerate with this style.
Systematic communication style: When talking to someone with a systematic style, stay away from too much opinionated information. They care much more about the facts than how people feel about certain things.
Not to say that they’re insensitive, but they make decisions using logic rather than emotions. Make sure you talk to them in an organized way that’s easy to follow. Don’t get upset if they seem a little detached socially, systematic people are there to work, not socialize, it’s just how they are.