By RedBalloon for Business

Different types of communication in business

If you want to create productive and enjoyable working experience for your team, you need to consider the different types of communication styles.

Culture plays a massive part in building a team that not only works together, but grows together. It’s why culture is so important to a positive employee experience. So what role does communication play in the workplace? And how can different styles impact the understanding and cohesion of your team?

What type of communication styles are there?

Ask any expert about how many communication types there are and you’ll likely receive a different answer from each person. While it’s hard to pin down an exact number, the DiSC profile is commonly used in corporate environments. Its four main styles are:

  • Dominant: Communicators who are decisive, efficient, intense, results-oriented, competitive and risk-tolerant.
  • Influencer: People who tend to be outgoing, enthusiastic, persuasive, relationship-oriented, lively and optimistic.
  • Conscientious: Conscientious individuals are those who communicate in a systematic, logical, reserved, process-oriented, cautious and risk-averse way.
  • Steady: Finally, those with a tendency to be Steady communicators are cooperative, relaxed, patient, support-oriented, friendly and thorough.

While there are no obvious ‘negatives’ associated with any of these styles, some of the descriptors can become negative if abused by an authority figure, such as a company manager.

For example, a Dominant communication style can quickly fall off the rails if the individual focuses too heavily on speaking to their team too intensely. In all things, you need to ‘read’ your employees and tweak your communication style in such a way that they will respond positively. After all, good communication is the basis of understanding.

Different methods work with different personalities

You may not fit into just one of these four communication styles – in fact, most successful leaders’ styles bleed into at least two, depending on the task they are undertaking. And that’s a good thing – you never want to box yourself into a single silo, especially when part of your job is managing a team of diverse personalities.

Your communication style can – and should – change according to each individual. For example, maybe one of your employees responds better to excitable personalities – those who are Dominant or Influencer communicators. Even if you lean more towards another style, if you recognise how they respond to different communication tactics, you can shape your language and feedback to suit them.

As a manager, it’s your duty to understand how your team members both give and receive feedback. By recognising how well they respond to specific styles, you can break down communication barriers and always get the best out of them.

What role does emotional intelligence play?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is simply a term that describes how well someone is able to understand and manage their emotions. Psychologist Daniel Goleman categorises five separate components that make up EQ:

  • Self-awareness: How you recognise and understand your emotions, as well as how they impact others.
  • Self-regulation: How you control impulses, e.g. thinking before acting.
  • Internal motivation: How driven an individual is to pursue goals for personal reasons, as opposed to a reward (aka external motivation).
  • Empathy: Being able to recognise and understand someone else’s emotions and motivating drivers.
  • Social skills: How easily someone can nurture relationships and build new networks.

In the modern workplace, it’s far more useful to know an employee’s EQ than other factors. So much so that almost three-quarters (71%) of hiring managers say they value a potential employee’s EQ above their IQ.

The bottom line is that team members with high emotional intelligence are more likely to contribute to the company in positive ways – whether that’s through motivating themselves or others, building powerful networks and encouraging new business, or collaborating effectively on group projects.

The best teams are made up of diverse personalities

No two people are exactly the same – if that were possible, businesses that focused on recruiting people with the same personality traits would quickly fail. After all, with no internal competition, there’s no need for employees to challenge each other to do better.

Diverse personalities are vital for the ongoing success of your business – but even more important is knowing how to juggle those differences. Some employees will butt heads while others will need consistent motivation from more intense personalities. That’s when your role as manager comes to the fore – if you can recognise how different individuals respond to various communication styles, you can address their needs appropriately while building a culture of understanding.

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