Communication styles can be a true reflection of who we are in real life. Our personality is what people can see or feel about us based on the way we communicate and interact with others. Through verbal and nonverbal cues, impressions are formed based on the way our personality traits are expressed.
Impression management is an important skill to have at work. To develop this skill, one will have to be aware of his or her own personality traits before making some self-improvements along the way. Here are the 9 communication styles at work:
9 Communication Styles at Work
Diligent, principled, and realistic. He strives to live up to his high ideals and ethical code, often seeking to improve himself, his coworkers, and everything around them at work. He will usually be the first to correct a person at work if he finds something isn’t right about the way the work is done. He strives to bring out the best in others close to him.
Direct, exacting, precise, and detailed. He is a person of few words, and would tend to react quickly to ideas. Being a person with high ideals, he may resort to using words like “should”, “ought to”, “correct”, “wrong”, “good”, or “right”.
Pay attention to the way you react to ideas and suggestions. You may appear defensive, impatient, or critical to others. To some of your coworkers, they may find you rather judgemental. Therefore, it is always good to take a few steps back, think before reacting.
Warm, generous, caring, nurturing, and very sensitive to the needs of other people. He is often filled with compliments for those around him. Coworkers love him for his cheerfulness. Bosses may like him for his graciousness and selfless nature. He is usually found doing things for others and helping out whenever necessary at work.
He tends to smile often, ask questions and give praises to others most of the time. During conversations, he makes few references to himself, rather, much of his focus would be on the person he is interacting with.
Pay attention to your motives underlying your generosity, helpfulness, and undivided attention you give to anyone. If you find yourself uninterested in the other person, do not force yourself to further engage him or her.
Self-assured, highly motivated, outwardly confident, energetic, and quick-witted. He appears confident as though he has it all together. That is because he manages his impression very well. He is highly efficient at work, dresses for success, avoids topic that he has limited information on, and he stays away from doing things that may reflect negatively on him. Everything about his profile is glamorous because he picks his battles very well.
He loves to share a lot about his achievements and professional goals in a way that will gain him respect and admiration of his peers and coworkers. He tends to be brief yet concrete with his speech so as to get his messages across in a clear and logical manner. He is also sharp in detecting the reaction of others around him, which gives him an advantage to adapt accordingly to certain social situations. He will rarely share about his personal life because he is image conscious. Rather, he will be very careful with how he promotes himself.
Beware of your dismissive and rushed tones, which may cause you to appear arrogant and impatient. You need to train up your patience and learn to be tolerant of others who are not like you.
Sensitive, genuine, and perceptive. He is someone who has deep connections with his own inner world of emotions and with his coworkers.
Being highly sensitive and perceptive, he is able to pick up a person’s feelings easily. He is also known to be creative, especially in sparking off a discussion where he can authentically share or express his own feelings.
Due to his emotional and sensitive nature, others may find him difficult to understand or work with.
He tends to use words like “I”, “me”, “my”, “mine”, and “myself” frequently in a conversation — whether he is introducing himself, discussing feelings, or sharing his melodramatic stories. He can also be rather abstract in the way he expresses himself to an extent that not many understand him, unless one is relationally close to him. He seems rather intense, slightly sad, and may appear to look as though he wants undivided attention from others.
The world does not revolve around you. While it may be good to be as authentic and unique as you want to be, others may find you overly intense, dramatic and contrived. Pay attention to the self referencing words that you use very frequently and start learning how to focus your attention to the interest of others. In short, give others a chance to be their most authentic self.
He is introverted, curious, analytical, insightful, and knowledgeable. He tends to stay very calm during a crisis because he is able to view the situation objectively. He appears slow in sharing his insights and knowledge with another person because he is highly selective of his word choice, and he may often end up giving too much information resulting in a lengthy discourse with others.
He tends to share more about his thoughts than feelings at work. Often, when sharing his thoughts, he may appear aloof, remote, and emotionally detached. He may also tend to put off people like the Performers with his lengthy conversations and descriptions of the subject that he may be an expert in. Expect one-liners most of the time when talking to people like him. He likes to keep statements simple and concise, when at times, may seem vague to others.
Try to avoid being too matter-of-factly in your conversations because others may not be very engaged after a while. Instead, try to add more details into your speech by elaborating them often and expressing yourself emotionally where necessary. You may also like to inject some humor into your conversations.
Loyal, trustworthy and responsible. He values loyalty to the community and causes that he associates himself closely with.
He may appear to be rather reserved at certain times, yet may become outspoken and confrontational when he felt the need to.
He is a very good team player and a follower only to an authority figure whom he respects. When given a task to do at work, he would want to know everything about his roles, responsibilities, and who are the ones to be working with him on the task.
His body language may appear anxious, hesitant, and concerned. He would usually be asking a lot of questions with the motive to be certain about a task, or a situation. He appears to be warm, empathic, and engaging to many others at work, which is why he likes working in a team. When communicating, he prefers direct and clear messages without them being superficial or vague. There are also tendencies for him to be making analytical comments during conversations.
Pay attention to your comments when conversing with others because some would probably find you too pessimistic or skeptical. When given a task by the boss, try your best not to appear too hesitant, otherwise your only chance for career exposure and advancement would be given to someone else instead.
Lively, optimistic, upbeat, quick-witted, spontaneous, and charming. He is someone who desires to contribute to the workplace, the society, and even to the world. He is fun to work with, spontaneous and is usually outspoken at work. He is full of ideas and would definitely make a great brainstormer. His quick and humorous nature tend to lighten up the atmosphere at the workplace. However, it is rather difficult to find such personality like him at work because people like him tend to move on whenever they find better opportunities elsewhere. Being a serial entrepreneur is therefore a career that is more suitable for the Adventurer.
Tone of voice tends to be sharp, even when angry. Highly animated and filled with hand gestures. It is hard to be engaged when he talks as he tends to be over-inspiring, repetitive, and unfocused. He may shift from topic to topic, which one may find it difficult to understand where he is coming from. He tends to avoid negative topics about himself, instead may end up reframing his story into something more humorous or positive. Keeping his options open is usually his style when making decisions, but the
Rolling stones gather no moss. You need to find a focal point in your life and move towards that direction. Do not continue to become a jack-of-all-trades because you might just become a master of none. Beware that your failure to be focused and organised at work may cause your coworkers not to take you seriously. Do things one at a time, and likewise, say things one at a time. Slow down, and take it easy.
Bold, direct, self-reliant, self-confident, authoritative, and protective. He is the person who tends to be very strategic in his thinking and sees the big picture at work. Taking charge and confronting challenges are his strengths and that is what makes people like him leaders and movers of the organisation. He is protective over those he cares at work and does not back down when challenged. He may come across as very judgmental, headstrong, and impatient with incompetence. This is especially so when he wants to accomplish important things.
His strong physical presence, and in-your-face comments and tones may sound intimidating and intense for some people. He displays his anger directly and refuses to ask for opinions or feedback while being very straightforward and honest. He says very little and would not hesitate to confront anyone who challenges his opinion at work. To some, he may give others a feel as if he is talking over them rather than talking to them. His style of speaking gives one a feeling that he is in-charge.
There are, in fact, many people who are intimidated by you. The energy that you send forth in the way you communicate verbally and nonverbally is stronger than you know it. Others feel your intense passion and your desire to get things done, but do realise that not everybody is capable of getting the big picture as fast as you can. Allow yourself to connect with someone you trust and respect, who can listen to you and the things that you do not feel safe disclosing for fear of appearing small.
Good-natured, easy-going, relaxed, cheerful, accommodative, receptive, harmonious, peace-loving, and holds positive mutual regards to those around him. He avoids conflicts as much as possible and usually makes the effort to be fair and neutral to all sides, ensuring that everyone can come into a common consensus with one another. He sometimes feel that he is not taken very seriously by others and is usually confused about what he really wants in life.
When communicating at work, he tends to give highly detailed information in a systematic manner due to his preference for having a structured routine. He tends to be very capable of seeing all sides of the argument most of the time and makes extra effort to ensure that everyone can agree on a common point. He is usually the one who mediates a discussion, and speaks up for everyone just to make everyone happy and at peace with one another. However, it is sometimes hard to determine if his “yes” is truly a “Yes”. He could have agreed in order to make that person happy, but might not really mean what he had intended to convey.
You can’t please everyone — whether you choose to agree, or to agree to disagree in an argument. Some arguments will never cease to have conclusions, and some fights will never end in a stalemate or a truce. Therefore, you need to be clear about the crux of the matter — consider the logic, moral implications, and validity of the argument before making your decisions. Failing to hold a stance on certain values might negatively affect your degree of influence among your peers. So, go on, and do not be afraid to make a stand for yourself!
How you interact with others at work is very much determined by how well you can read their personality styles. Knowing the different personality types described above will help you to respond better to certain individuals in your workplace. Of course, everyone is unique and there is no generic way to communicate with different people at work.
Practice still makes perfect.