Take this easy self-quiz to learn your communication style (select A or B for each of the seven questions below):
Do you prefer to:
1. (A) Send an e-mail or (B) Make a phone call
2. (A) Send an announcement or (B) Have a meeting
3. (A) Send a text message or (B) Leave a personal voicemail
4. (A) Receive an instant message or (B) Be called
5. (A) Receive an e-mail or (B) Receive a voicemail
6. (A) Give a verbal briefing of a report or presentation or (B) Give a written summary instead of spoken summary
7. (A) Be given a verbal briefing of a report or presentation or (B) Be given a written summary instead of spoken summary
Now add up your A’s and B’s.
There are many ways to break down and comprehend communication styles. One quick and effective method is the two-category reader/writer or speaker/listener method, referred to by Peter Drucker in The Effective Executive (2002).
More than 3 A’s
You are more of a reader/writer in your mode of communication. You do best when you are e-mailed, text messaged and given reports. You would be advised to request that your team members try to accommodate your needs when they are working with you on areas that are especially important to your decision-making. You find yourself saying to the people with the opposite communication style: “Didn’t you read that?” or “It’s written down.”
Don’t be frustrated with people who are not of the reader/writer type. Simply work with them, direct them to someone who will answer their question, or try to get DVDs or CDs for them when communicating more comprehensive information. Personalize communications using their names, be professional but friendly, and use illustrations when possible.
More than 3 Bs
You are more of a speaker/listener communicator. You do best when you can listen to the information as opposed to reading an email, when you can listen to a voice mail instead of reading a text message. You prefer meeting in person rather than reading reports. You are urged to request that your team members try to accommodate your needs when they are working with you on areas that are especially important to your decision-making. At times, you may tend to feel disconnected from someone who asks you to write a report or send e-mails on a regular basis instead of more personal contact. Know that these people simply have different communication styles.
Don’t get frustrated with people who are not of the speaker/listener type. Simply work with them, refer them to written sources and make time to meet with them when possible.
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- 3 presentation tips from a product demo by Jill Foster
- I text, you tweet, are we communicating? by Patricia Frame
Image: Pawns via Flickr, Creative Commons
Jean Lewis has edited and written for consumer Web sites and publications reaching nearly 50 million people. Her credits include writing and editing online and print articles, sales and training materials, marketing collateral, and advertising and PR for conusmer companies including BeautiControl, a Tupperware subsidiary’s publications to women ages 20s through 50s, the WHO Foundation, Women Helping Others, MCG Magazine, Los Angeles and Seasonal Living Guide for Sam’s Club, a retailing subsidiary of Wal-Mart.