Twenty years ago, little was known about topics like personality or communication styles. Too often, managers believe that their way was the only correct way to run a business. As research has grown on the topic, however, four key communication styles have emerged. Knowing them can help to better connect with all types of people.
They are classified as Drivers, the Analytics, Expressors, and Amiables. Each one carries with it its own set of priorities when they interact with others.
As a business owner, you’re focused on getting the most out of your employees as possible. Managing in the new decade starts and ends with effectively communicating those goals and objectives in a manner that maximizes your return. Having the emotional intelligence to recognize the nuances between each of your team members and crafting your message accordingly will give you the ability to constructively interact with a wide variety of personalities and tendencies.
Here’s what you need to know about each communication style:
4 Main Communication Styles
Drivers’ communication style is fueled by the need to lead. They like to have control and get things done in a fast-paced, goal-oriented role. They make natural managers and excel in results-focused settings where they can oversee others. While there are a lot of pros to this communication style, members of this group often come across and impatient and insensitive to others if left unchecked.
- Always in a hurry
- Very straightforward
- Take charge of meetings
- Tend to be blunt
- Tend to be impatient
- Tend to interrupt others
- Are aggressive
- Can be intimidating
Communicating with an employee of this style requires preparation. Drivers like clear, brief, and accurate instruction. They do not enjoy small talk, so avoid going into too much detail. Instead, gear conversations towards their goals, and provide options and solutions to address any of their needs that have concrete data to back up your claims.
Related article: Why Coaching And Training Employees Leads to Better Leaders
As the name suggests, Analytics prefer a methodical approach towards achieving goals. They are fantastic problem solvers and often take their time to make sure their choice is the right decision to make. Their actions are deliberate in nature, and they always do their homework to look at problems from every possible angle. This strength can come back to bite them in the long run, however, as processes often slow down due to overthinking on tasks.
- Office is neat/organized
- Like to collect data and plan
- Get bogged down in details
- Speak slowly, matter-of-factly— avoiding mistakes
- Rarely talk in meetings
- Use facts/data to overcome objections and make decisions
To effectively relate to an Analytic, managers should avoid too much socializing and small talk. Analytics already have a lot to think about, and do not need unnecessary facts taking up their thought space. Instead, give your instructions clearly and slowly so that they have time to process the information being presented. Much like Drivers, come prepared to answer any questions they may have thoroughly. It also helps to put expectations in writing so that they have something to refer back to as they work.
Related article: Why Giving Employees Feedback Creates Better Employees
Being an Expressor is all about being the center of attention. Often full of energy and optimism, they are great at improving team morale and have a passion for interacting with others. They love settings with a lot of moving parts, and their ability to win others over makes them influential around the workplace. They like to listen to their intuition, which can certainly take your business to new heights. With that said, that same “gut feeling” can lead to impulsive decisions. Expressors also have notoriously short attention spans and find it difficult to be alone for very long.
- Tend to be extroverted
- Very friendly and charismatic
- Uses hands and facial expressions when talking
- Very enthusiastic
- Like to arrange social gatherings
- Enjoy working with people
- Strive to include others in projects
- Tend to be optimistic
Managing an Expressor requires enthusiasm. They like exciting new opportunities and flock to create new projects on the horizon. Due to their low attention spans, it may be good to help them create a priority list to better organize their tasks. Write down important deadlines and clearly communicate to them what their role on the project will be. Tasks that involve new and diverse elements are always a great place to place an Expressor.
Related article: How to Implement Organizational Change Effectively
Amiables have a natural aptitude for working well with others, and they tend to focus their priorities around getting to know the team around them. Interpersonal relationships are big for Amiables, as they prefer a nurturing setting where everyone works together as a team. They tend to avoid conflict and are often up for taking on new responsibilities or helping others out. While they like to thoroughly plan their approach before executing, their aversion to risk can sometimes hold back the business from greater growth opportunities.
- Very relaxed and casual
- Very good listener
- Encourage others to talk about themselves
- Tend to be quiet and indirect
- Prefer to follow, not lead
- Like working in small groups
Communicating with an Amiable is all about relationship building. They really value social capital and will respond better to your needs if you strive to get to know them better. They place high importance on qualities like reliability, loyalty, and sincerity. In order to win their respect, you should speak to them with patience, and show a genuine interest in them as a person. Clearly explain the benefits of any decisions you plan to be making, and follow through on any promises you give them. They will remember. Give them space, and don’t put them into situations they aren’t comfortable with.
Related article: How Listening to Employee Opinions Can Strengthen an Organization
How Dale Carnegie Can Help to Better Connect You to Your Team
If you are interested in learning more about how to effectively interact with and relate to your employees’ various communication styles, then our next Dale Carnegie of Orange County training course may be right for you. You’ll learn how to identify your own personality style and modify your behaviors to better connect with people of different styles in a way that lifts up your business.