Similar to personality types, each individual has a different style of communication. This can affect the ways in which you interact with others and influence your strengths and weaknesses. In the workplace, this has a large impact on your relationships with your coworkers and general productivity. Simply put, clear and effective communication is one of the simplest ways to minimize workplace stress, increase productivity and build strong relationships with your coworkers. In fact, productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees. The four main communication styles that individuals fall into are Analytical, Intuitive, Functional and Personal. Understanding which style you resonate with can help you better communicate within the workplace and your daily life.
Analytical communicators emphasize hard data, numbers, and facts. If you are analytical, you tend to interpret issues logically and approach issues with an objective point of view. When interacting with others that may not have the same communication style, it is important to note that you may come off as unemotional or irritated, as not everyone is as focused on the same style of strict logic. When working with an analytical communicator, provide as much detail as possible so that they are comfortable with the facts of the situation. Additionally, avoid turning the conversation emotional and instead focus on what you know rather than what you feel.
Intuitive communicators value the big picture or end result of things rather than intimate details. Instead of thinking things through in a step-by-step process, they would rather jump to the end result. Communication with intuitive people is quick and to the point, so when interacting be sure to give short and direct instructions. Stick to the main topic and keep details to a minimum. Working with an intuitive communicator forces you to take a look at the big picture and evaluate the situation as a whole. If you are an intuitive communicator, recognize your difference in perspective and try your best to keep your patience when you encounter a situation that requires going into detail.
Opposite from intuitive communicators, functional communicators like to discuss the step-by-step processes to ensure that a well thought out timeline is planned and executed. Within the workplace, this can be a huge benefit as their love for detail typically ensures that nothing gets missed. In roles such as Project Managers or other leadership positions, this style of communication can be extremely beneficial. However, when working with others it can be difficult to interact, especially if the two communication styles are opposite of each other. When working with a functional communicator, practice active listening and be prepared to discuss specific details. If you are a functional communicator, be aware of other communication styles as the potential risk of losing your audience could be high.
Lastly, there is the personal communicator. Personal communicators value emotional connection, relationships and work to assess how people feel in addition to how they think. This communication style is very effective in building relationships with others as they value the emotional aspect of communication. When working with a personal communicator, it is important to keep conversations casual and follow up with important details later. With the main goal of building a connection, initial conversations often do not focus on specific information with personal communicators. Be prepared to answer questions about how something makes you feel and try not to get offended. Avoid only sticking to the facts and figures when discussing projects with personal communicators as they will quickly become uninterested and frustrated.
While no communication style is better than the other, it is important to recognize which style you identify with and which ones your colleagues associate with. Matching your communication style with those you are interacting within the workplace is essential for effective communication and higher levels of productivity.
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