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At work & at home, each of us has been & again will be in communication. Our personal communication styles will dictate to a great extent our success in coordinating action & in relationships. It’s unfortunate that we usually enter into communication situations without an awareness of our personal styles of communicating. We just do what comes naturally to us (but not necessarily to others.) One thing is certain every communicator anywhere continually THINKS & ACTS. This is where we begin our exploration of communication styles: how we Think & Act?
In the Communication Styles , there are two thinking styles, and two acting styles,
Acting Style 1: The Stimulators as you might guess, people with this acting style strive to implement new actions quickly & intuitively, without structure. On teams & in meetings, stimulators will speak up to suggest easier ways to accomplish work & will be the first to embrace new approaches to old problems. Because they gravitate to dynamic situations, they’ll be listening for rumors & clues about the next new program or initiative. They are oriented to individual action & achievement, & thus listen for appreciation of what they have accomplished on their own.
Acting Style 2: The Processors Sitting on the other end of the scale, Processors prefer to act according to a structured & systematic plan. They prefer to integrate new actions into existing systems. They are much less enamored of radical change than their Stimulator brethren. They stay on the alert on knitting different parts of different programs together, & look for appreciation of the well-oiled processes & systems they design rather than grand individual achievements.
Thinking Style 1: The Innovators–Innovators are in love with ideas. They are future-oriented & continually focused on opportunities & possibilities. There are few ideas & concepts that escape their attention, & they will keep shifting these in their minds until they find some nuggets that they can apply to problems at hand. In most organizations, these are the people who get tasked with brainstorming new products & programs, & “out of the box” initiatives.
Thinking Style 2: The Analyzers–Analyzers take the same amount of mental energy their Innovator colleagues use & apply it to dissecting ideas, processes, & programs. They are information harvesters who challenge ideas & assumptions with facts, data, & information. They are always listening for hidden problems & solutions & like to be appreciated for their thorough investigations. These people ask lots of questions & put everything in front of them through a battery of mental tests & challenges. They are “detail people” who are not likely to dive into untested waters.
The thinking & acting Styles create combinations that predict how people will apply their styles when communicating with others (including when they’re in leadership roles!). The four primary communication styles are:
The Changers Changers combine the creative thought power of Innovators with the bold action orientation of Stimulators. Changers take new ideas & work to make them happen by implementation. They create change through experimentation instead of analysis, preferring to implement first & fine tune later. Changers tend to be free-thinking “sparkplugs” driven to act on new ideas.
Their communication style is: “Great idea; let’s try it!”
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The Perfectors Perfectors combine the creative thought power of Innovators with the powerful analysis & investigation skills of Analyzers. Whereas Changers will implement first & fine tune later, Innovators take a new idea & “try it on for size” in their minds. They tend to appraise, refine, & perfect before implementation. They are free thinkers drawn to new ideas, but will be cautious to act before assessing probable outcomes & understanding the details.
Their communication style is: “Great idea; let’s think about it.”
The Performers Performers take the bold acting style of Stimulators & marry it with the structured acting style of Processors. The result is a person can take proposed systems & processes & implements them—now. They are the “doers” in organizations; who can be counted on to act & lead according to management’s game plan, especially in a crisis.
They are structured thinkers whose communication style is: “Here’s the plan. Let’s do it now!”
The Conservators Like their Performer colleagues, Conservators prefer the structured acting style of Processors combined with the analysis skills of Analyzers. The result is a person who can take existing systems & procedures & improve them through careful, incremental actions that have been thoroughly assessed for consequences. Their talent is an ability to analyze the familiar & apply structured thinking to improve it. These are the “rock solid” people in organizations who you can rely on to manage important processes that, for example, result in certification of professionals & drugs, & issuance of governmental permits.
Their communication style can be summarized in the statement, “Let’s work to improve the current plan.”
What’s your style? Let us know in the comments below.