What type of communicator are you?

What type of communicator are you?

It’s easy to think of communication as simply meaning talking to each other. Of course, there are two components to effective communication – talking and listening (or writing and reading when it’s in written form) – but this is still only scratching the surface.

For example, some business coaches claim that 93% of communication is nonverbal, relying on body language and tone of voice rather than words. Many sources today say this figure comes from a misinterpretation of a 1967 study, but even these debunkers don’t dispute that face-to-face communication relies on much more than just words.

Importantly, there are also different types of communicators. I’m current working on a course on being an effective team leader, which outlines four different communication styles – the thinker, the doer, the listener and the creator.

All these styles have their pros and cons. For example, it turns out that I am a creator, which means I am enthusiastic, imaginative and inspiring, but creators can also have problems putting their ideas into fruition, can be sensitive and are often chatterboxes.

The doer is much more pragmatic and results oriented, but can come across as rude and impatient. The thinker, meanwhile, loves detail, systems and accuracy, but is sometime uncomfortable with new ideas, while the listener has excellent people skills but can be a poor delegator with a low stress threshold.

One way of seeing it is that as an individual, we should strive to be a little bit of each of these four communicators, but in reality, people will naturally gravitate towards one or two of them. Perhaps a better attitude is to think that all four of these communicators have their uses, and a balanced team should include some of each of them. What’s then important is to ensure the team is able to communicate effectively and harmoniously in spite of the differing styles within it, avoiding miscommunication and clashes.

As a creator, the doer is at the opposite corner of the communication styles grid to me, so if I identify someone as a doer, I have to tailor my communication towards that person. Doers like results and competition, so I have to avoid simply bombarding them with ideas and thoughts, and make sure I’m addressing what the purpose of the ideas is, how and when they can be executive, and what can be gained from putting them into practice.

On the other side of the coin, doers communicating with creators should remember that they often like attention, so should welcome their contribution to an idea. They might also want to share a joke with them, since creators are known for their sense of humour.

Those with opposite communication styles may also find some methods of communication work better than others. For example, email is a form of communication that relies entirely on words (apart from the odd emoji), so it’s easy for a message not to be interpreted as intended. Here, we go back to the importance of body language and tone of voice, and can consider whether some messages might be better communicated face to face, over the phone or via a video call.

Have a think about your own style and that of the people you work with. How can you communicate in a way that inspires and reassures your staff, and foster that mentality throughout your team?

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray

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