Excellent communication is one of the most important and challenging parts of a healthy workplace. Have you ever experienced a situation in which things fell apart because your coworker seemed aggressive, unclear, or unfocussed? What most people overlook is that the value of communication lies not only in what you say, but also in how you say it.
The effectiveness of your communication is your responsibility. Therefore, good communication requires a level of self-awareness. Knowledge is power in this sense, because being aware of your communication style helps you identify the communication styles of others, and relate with people who have different strengths than yours.
There are many different descriptions psychologists and HR professionals have used to summarize communication types. Today, we’ll look at four personality-based types of communication:
- Interpersonal – Relator
- Affective – Socializer
- Cognitive – Thinker
- Behavioral – Director
As you read the descriptions, keep these questions in mind:
- Which of these descriptions do I identify with the most?
- In what ways do my coworkers fit these descriptions?
- What factors cause communication to breakdown during the workday?
- How can I improve the way I communicate with people with different communication strengths?
Interpersonal (Relator): Relators are relationship-orientated, cooperative, and easily express their thoughts and feelings. However, Relators are slower paced and indirect in their approach. Since they seek security and harmony, they are more concerned about the happiness of a group than accomplishing tasks. They tend to be laid back, so they are more likely to shy away from confrontational or aggressive communication.
Affective (Socializer): The Socializer likes to interact with others rather than work alone. Socializers have a fast-paced, direct communication style, meaning that they enjoy interactive tasks. They work very well with others, and are generally quite talkative. Because they are easily bored with mundane tasks, they might seem spontaneous as they quickly jump from one thing to the next.
Cognitive (Thinker): The Thinker is highly analytical and intellectual in their approach. Thinkers take a while to feel comfortable with others and tend to take longer to reveal information about themselves. Don’t underestimate the cognitive communicator. Thinkers are thorough and take longer to process their thoughts, so they may not speak up directly in meetings. Giving them a chance to speak by asking them to share their thoughts is extremely helpful in group situations; and will more than likely reveal valuable insight.
Behavioral (Director): Directors are aggressive, independent, and competitive by nature. Directors are driven by results, focusing less on people than on maximizing the outcome. They can be depended on for achieving goals effectively and for keeping the group focused on the task at hand. They do their best work in a fast-paced environment with an emphasis on getting right to the point.
As you interact with coworkers in your office this week, keep these communication styles in mind. Reflect on the shortcomings you can improve personally, and be aware of the different communicators in your workplace.
Contact The Lee Group. We will help you communicate your career or company needs, and then find you the best match.