What’s Your Communication Style?

Our accomplishments in the workplace often depend on how well we can communicate our needs and objectives to others. Truly effective communication requires an understanding of other people’s styles as well as our own. Take this quiz from How to Become a Better Negotiator by James G. Patterson to determine your personal dominant communication style – Listener, Creator, Doer or Thinker – then read on for some insight into each style.

Communication Style Quiz:
Read each phrase and check the word that best describes you. Then count up the check marks in each of the four columns and consult the Scoring Key to find determine your dominant style.

1. Manner is basically accepting friendly controlling evaluative
2. Decision making slow emotional impulsive fact-based
3. I talk about personal things people achievements organization
4. Using time not rushed socializer rushed runs late
5. Relates to others accepting empathizer commands assessing
6. Gestures sparse open impatient closed
7. Clothing conforms very stylish formal conservative
8. Work pace steady enthusiastic fast controlled
9. Listening interested distracted impatient selective
10. Work area has keepsakes pictures awards charts
11. Oriented toward support people results facts
12. Basic personality easygoing outgoing dominating no-nonsense
13. Communication low-key animated direct reserved
14. Responsive to others steady friendly restless distant
TOTALS: I = ______ II = ______ III = ______ IV = ______
  Listener Creator Doer Thinker

Scoring Key
7 or more = Strong Preference
5-6 = Moderate Preference
0-2 = Low PreferenceCharacteristics of Each Communication Style

I. Listener
People oriented
Believe there is more than one method to achieve the same results
Demand a voice in decisions that affect them
Place a high premium on relationships
Can be slow decision makers
Don’t delegate well
Seek security; don’t take risks

Conflict: Mainly with Doers

Advice: Try to be more assertive. Focus less on relationships and more on tasks. Learn to make observations based on facts, not subjective judgments.

II. Creator
Enthusiastic, excitement driven
Like public speaking and attention
May be too talkative
Persuasive and optimistic
Good sense of humor
Can be impulsive, make snap decisions
Have problems following through with an idea

Conflict: Mainly with Thinkers

Advice: Slow down. Try to be less intense

III. Doer
Results oriented
Very verbal
Excellent problem solver
Risk taker
Can be arrogant and domineering
Can be poor listener and impatient

Conflict: Mainly with Listeners

Advice: Slow down. Count to ten before responding. Learn to listen more. Work at showing your feelings, being more interested in relationships and being more open.

IV. Thinker
Detail oriented
Can be slow decision makers
Like rules and predictability
Lowest risk taker
Can be rigid, overly serious and indecisive

Conflict: Mainly with Creators

Advice: Try to move faster, show less need for endless detail, be less rigid about following policies. Take more risks. Show more personal concern for others.

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