Are you an analytical, driver, amiable or expressive? Discover your communication style and learn how to best work with other styles…
When it comes to communication, I’m a straight to the point, big picture type person. Making a long story short is usually a fairly easy task for me to accomplish. But I’m aware not everyone is like that. I can think of a couple of people in my life who are detail-oriented and analytical. They can – and do – make any-length stories long. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this (or with my own style, for that matter). What it does highlight, however, is the importance of being aware of our own communication style and the ones of those we interact with, and then being able to adapt our style as required.
Understanding your personal style of communication will help you make sense of your interactions with others. Likewise, being able to identify and understand another person’s communication style will go a long way in making your communication with them a lot more powerful – and, let’s face it, at times less painful!
I’ve seen a number of exercises that can help identify your personality and communication types. The one I share here is simple, quick to do and yet still effective. I’ve used it with a few teams and it has helped generate great discussions and insights. It could be a worthwhile exercise to do with your team at work or your family, helping you all to understand how to best communicate with one another.
Here is how to go about it:
Step 1: Circle all the adjectives you relate to in each of the squares (see image below)
Step 2: Count how many adjectives you have circled in each of the squares
Step 3: Identify your communication style(s) – analytical, driver, amiable, expressive
Step 4: Review the table below to identify how you should adapt your communication style depending on who you are communicating with.
Communication is an intrinsic part of all our lives – as leaders and managers, employees, family members, friends. As great communication can be a powerful tool in helping us to reach what we aim for, learning to develop the skills that will enable us to communicate effectively is very important. A high level of awareness – of self and others – and adaptability are key in this process and exercises like this one can be informative and fun to do with others. So go ahead. Try it… and communicate with style!