Understanding your communication style

Understanding your communication style


Communication is a two-way process for reaching mutual understanding through
verbal, non-verbal, and written messages. Communication style is defined
as the way in which individuals interact with one another and the messages
they send, intentionally or not, through their behaviors. Determining your own
communication style can help you improve how you share information with others.
Learning how to effectively communicate with styles different from your own will
enable you to establish effective relationships and create better understanding.
In this project, you will learn how to identify different communication styles,
understand your preferred communication style, and recognize how your
communication style may impact your interactions with others. You will
determine how to improve your relationships by mastering and adapting your
communication styles and tailor your message to match situational expectations.

Communication style


Please choose the word that is most descriptive of you.

1. I like to be seen as
a. Sociable
b. Decisive
c. Cautious
d. Patient

2. When collaborating with others, I am
a. Competitive
b. Spontaneous
c. Cooperative
d. Precise

3. When it comes to sharing feelings with others, I am
a. Reserved
b. Sympathetic
c. Private
d. Self-assured

4. Others would describe me as
a. Gentle
b. Fun-loving
c. Results-oriented
d. Disciplined

5. I like my appearance to be
a. Formal
b. Casual
c. Stylish
d. Business-like

6. I want support for my
a. Goals
b. Ideas
c. Feelings
d. Thoughts

7. When working on a project, I am
a. Enthusiastic
b. Ambitious
c. Purposeful
d. Persistent

8. Some may perceive me negatively as
a. Indecisive
b. A perfectionist
c. Impulsive
d. Strong-willed

9. As a leader, I would be perceived as
a. Focused
b. A risk-taker
c. Dependable
d. A problem-solver

10. When placed in a new situation, I am
a. Conscientious
b. Fearless
c. Optimistic
d. Friendly

11. My perfect occupation would give me a sense of
a. Accomplishment
b. Enjoyment
c. Acceptance
d. Accuracy

12. My favorite way to work is by
a. Networking
b. Brainstorming
c. Delegating
d. Working independently

At this time, refer to the Communication Style Scoring Guide on the questionnaire to identify your communication style. Calculate your scores and keep them available for review as you read through the remainder of this project. Most people will find they produce a score in multiple categories. Each communication style has value and there is no best overall style. Having a higher score in one communication style indicates you are comfortable using that style in many situations, but is not necessarily what you choose in all communication. The goal of understanding your communication style preferences is to communicate with others in a way that is comfortable and effective. 

Direct: This style is decisive, competitive, independent, and confident. Because the person with a Direct communication style is focused, results-oriented, ambitious, goal-oriented, and driven, others may perceive her as strong-willed or demanding. She can be seen as impatient when bored. She likes to feel in control and may become frustrated if dependent on others. She measures progress by achievements and successes and is motivated by challenges. At work she displays more concern for results than relationships and does not easily share feelings. Her pace is fast and decisive and she likes a busy, efficient, structured, and formal environment. 

Initiating: This style is sociable, enthusiastic, energetic, spontaneous, and fun-loving. Due to the gregarious nature of the person with an Initiating communication style, he may be perceived as someone who talks more than listens. He is often perceived as selfassured, innovative, and persuasive. He likes to feel accepted and is motivated by relationships. He responds strongly to praise and approval. His pace is fast and he may appear impulsive at times. He prefers a stimulating, personal, and friendly work environment. 

Supportive: This style is calm, steady, approachable, sincere, and gentle. Because the person with a Supportive communication style dislikes change, she may appear indecisive. More often she is perceived as careful, patient, and amiable. Due to her active listening skills, others see her as cooperative, dependable, and loyal. She is often modest and prefers praise be given privately. Patient and slow-paced, she likes a personal, relaxed, no-tension environment. She puts high priority on close relationships and does not like conflict, but may mediate if necessary.

 Analytical This style is precise, exact, analytical, and logical. Because the person with an Analytical communication style is systematic and task-oriented, he is sometimes perceived as a perfectionist. He is organized, self-reliant, purposeful, and diplomatic. He is motivated by certainty and will rarely give an opinion unless asked. He is slow and cautious in his pace and likes a structured, ordered, and functional environment. Because he needs to feel sure of his position and others’ expectations, he is often private with personal information and does not easily express emotions.

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