effective communication skills

Four Communication Personality Types.

Each person has a unique personality which plays a very basic role in their Personal Perspective, and all personalities are combinations of four basic personality types. This is commonly called the DISC profile. Here is how the DISC profile applies to effective communication.

Four Styles for Effective Communication.

Have you ever met someone that you just couldn't get through to?

While there could be many reasons for this, one of the most common reasons is that your communication "style" is different than the other person's communication style.

One of the best ways to quickly improve the effectiveness of your communication is to adapt your communication style to match theirs. Let me illustrate what I mean.

My wife and I have quite different styles of communication. She loves details and I just want the bottom line. When I get home from work at the end of the day and she asks me "How was your day?" I am likely to respond with a simple "fine," or maybe give her a quick summary of one or two of the most important events.

But when I ask her the same question, I had better be prepared to hear the story of her entire day in excruciating (for me) detail. Because of my communication style, I don't need nor want the details, but because of her communication style, she needs and wants to give them.

Of course this is just an example, as we all face the challenges of communicating with people who have a different style of communication than our own. In this short article we'll look at the four "styles" of communication and learn how to communicate with each one more effectively.

Research which began in the 1940s and continues today has revealed there are four major styles of communication. Some people combine two of these styles, but we all have a natural style of communication that we prefer to use.

Remember, our natural tendency in communicating is to use our own style because it is what comes naturally and automatically to us. But if we want to be effective communicators, we need to adapt our style to that of the other person.

Here are the four styles of communication. After you read each one stop for a minute and write down the names four people who you know that have that style.

Communication Styles In ThePopulation

Communication Styles In The Population

The bottom line person. (also known as the "D")

The bottom line person is easy to spot because they just want the facts and nothing but the facts. Because of this, many times they can be perceived as bossy and insensitive. The bottom line person is extremely goal oriented and their major motivation is to get things done. They'll take a project and run with it. Many times they won't even have a plan when they begin. They'll just forge ahead with an attitude of "we'll figure it out as we go."

The bottom line person paints with a broad brush and has little use for details, so don't give them any more details than are absolutely necessary to get your point across. Here are some tips for communicating with a bottom line person:

  • Be efficient and businesslike.

  • Get to the point.

  • Set and clarify goals and objectives.

  • Give them conclusions. Only provide details if asked.

  • Solve problems and objections.

  • Talk in terms of results not methods. (back to top)

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The people person. (also known as the "I")

You know the people person...they're the life of the party and lots of fun. They love people and love to talk. Their natural sociability allows them to talk for long periods of time about almost anything. They have an attractive personality and are the life of the party. They are enthusiastic, curious, and expressive.

Here are some tips for communicating with the people person:

  • Leave plenty of time for talk and social niceties.

  • Ask them about their family, children etc. And be prepared to talk about yours.

  • If possible, let them "experience" what you are communicating.

  • Talk in terms of people and stories.

  • Use lots of examples.

Something to think about: What will happen when the people person who loves to talk tries to communicate with the bottom line person who just wants to get to the point? (back to top)

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The "can't we all get along" person. (also known as the "S")

The person with a "get along" communication style typically has a low key personality and is calm, cool and collected. They tend to be patient, well balanced and happily reconciled with life. "Get along" people are the largest percentage of the population and they are typically competent and steady workers who do not like to be involved in conflict. When there is conflict they may be called upon to mediate the problem. They are good listeners and usually have many friends. One of their major motivations is to avoid offending anyone.

Here are some tips for communicating with the "can't we all get along" person:

  • Don't come on too strong.

  • Earn their trust in small steps.

  • Don't ask for big decisions fright away.

  • Provide plenty of reassurance.

  • Talk in terms of security.

Something to think about: How can you use testimonials, guarantees, or examples to effectively communicate with a "get along" person that you know? (back to top)

The detail person. (also known as the "C")

These are the "facts and figures" people. They love to gather details and organize things. They tend to be deep, thoughtful, analytical, serious and purposeful. Because their communication style includes a need for details, they sometimes hesitate to make decisions if they feel that they don't have enough facts. They love lists, charts, graphs and figures. Because they pay so much attention to details, they can sometime be seen as being pessimistic. Many times they are frugal or economical.

Tips for communicating with the detail person:

  • Make sure you are well prepared.

  • Have plenty of facts and figures.

  • Be prepared for skepticism.

  • Answer all of their questions.

  • Go relatively slow.

  • Give them time to think.

Something to think about: How can the people person who loves to talk communicate more effectively with the detail person who wants facts and figures? (back to top)

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Since each person has a preferred style of communication, once you think about it and determine their style, you can communicate effectively by adapting your style to meet the needs of their style.

Remember first rule of maximum communication: the success of the communication is the responsibility of the communicator. If my wife needs to tell me the details of her day, I need to let her.


For all of those "bottom line," "D" people out there, here's a quick summary of what we have covered in this newsletter:

Let's Practice!

The best way to understand a concept is to practice it. So here's a suggested exercise that you can do on your own.

  • Make a list of five people that you communicate with on a regular basis.

  • Next to each one, identify their communication style.

  • Decide how you can communicate more effectively with each one using their style, not yours

Four communication styles in relationships

The Relationship Puzzle ($8.97 PDF Download Now)

  • Discover the four basic communication styles
  • Included survey reveals your preferred style
  • Learn how each style views relationships
  • Uncover how each style interacts with the others
  • Find out how to communicate most effectively with the other styles
  • Specific dating advice for each style

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