Knowing the characteristics of communication styles can help you respond to a situation more effectively.
Knowing the characteristics of communication styles can help you respond to a situation more effectively.

The first Thursday of each month features a “best of” X5 Management blog. The intent is to showcase and revisit some of our blogs from the past. We hope you enjoy them!

Every business has a list of ideal customers and prospects that they would like to speak directly to, call upon and ultimately secure a deal with. Sales and customer service reps may also wish to build stronger relationships with current customers, but not know how to best communicate with them.

At X5, in many of our sales and customer service workshops, we complete communication styles exercises to help team members understand the different communication styles that exist, how to identify them and what the strengths and weaknesses of each style may be.

The more you understand how your team-members, customers and prospects like to communicate and be communicated with, the easier it will be to achieve a positive outcome in any sales or customer service situation. Each communication style has definite characteristics. Knowledge of these characteristics allows you to flex your own individual style to anticipate others’ reactions and adapt your style to respond to the situation in the most effective way.

The 4 styles and their key characteristics: 

Direct: Direct individuals tend to present their position strongly and are decisive. When speaking or presenting information to direct people, it is important to get to the bottom line and highlight exactly how your product or service will benefit them. Ensure to focus on their goals and objectives and ask questions directly.

Spirited: Those individuals who are spirited in their communication style are generally enthusiastic and friendly. When communicating with them, share stories of how your product or service may apply to them and focus on the big picture. Allow spirited individuals to share their ideas openly and do not force or hurry the discussion.

Considerate: Considerate individuals are most likely strong listeners who believe in the importance of building trust.  They care for others and are reliable and steady team – members.  It is important to recognize the value that considerate individuals place on relationships.  Practice active listening when communicating with those who prefer a considerate communication style approach.  Give them time to build trust in you and maintain a relaxed pace in your engagement.

Systematic: When presenting ideas to a systematic person, it will be critical to focus on the facts and present information in a precise and efficient way. These individuals appreciate clear guidelines and organized structure. Remember to focus on the details and allow time for analysis and a response when you ask them to make a decision.

Source: Russo, D. E. (2010). What’s My Communication Style. HRDQ.

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