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Communication Styles

By Susan Dunn, Coach

It's important to understand the 4 Communication Styles. The first step in working with others productively is to understand your own communication style and to understand that other people have different styles. The next step is to accommodate to the other. Ideally this is mutual. If not, you be the one to accommodate!

1. THE DRIVER
Action oriented
Good at starting things, getting results, taking control and making
decisions
Loves to compete and loves to win
Has strong opinions
More concerned about getting things done than forming relationships
Takes charge!
2. THE ANALYST
A thinking person
Good at figuring things out
Good at planning action, gathering data
Can look at the pros and cons of each step
Plans for delays, works methodically; meets deadlines
May seem stand-offish; likes to work alone
Produces excellent results
3. THE SUPPORTER
Is sociable
Relates to others through warmth and friendliness
Lets others take the lead
Tries to create and maintain cooperation; shares credit
Sticks to tried and true methods
Likes informality; uses personal influence to get things done
May be overly concerned about what others think
Prefers working on a team
4. THE EXPRESSER
Promotes ideas
Relates to others through the power of personality
Creates energy and enthusiasm
Generates ideas and motivates others
Takes risks
Works intensely
Often leaves details to others; hates routine tasks
Usually prefers to work with others, but as the leader of the group

Use your knowledge of communication styles when you're putting together project teams, or leading a group. Help them understand one another. The
Driver can intimidate others in a group with their direct, action-oriented style of communication. They'll take charge by fiat even if it's really someone else's 'show'.

The Supporter's informal chatty style can seem "unbusinesslike" but they'll be stars for you in establishing consensus and getting the group to work together. The quiet Analyst will produce excellent results, but will seem stand-offish to the Supporter.

Everyone may have to outlast the waves of enthusiasm and intensity surging from the Expresser -- but they'll all appreciate these qualities many times during the project.

When you're negotiating or promoting your business or services, you'll need to understand that you'll have to let the Driver take the lead, give the Analyst plenty of time to consider what you're presenting; spend extra time socializing with the Supporter; and help the Expresser get down to the detail level.

Good communication means being aware of the different styles of communication and working with the other, not against them. Understand where the other person is coming from, and you'll get better results all around.

Susan Dunn is a personal and professional development coach, specializing in emotional intelligence, strengths, and life balance. Visit her on the web at http://www.susandunn.cc.


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