Ineffective communication can cause significant issues in a business that could lead to customer loss, damage to staff morale and missed business opportunities. As not everyone communicates in the same way, entrepreneurs need to learn the different forms of communication and what means produce the best results from their workers.
Communication in business is often broken down into four categories; analytical, intuitive, functional, and personal. Each style is unique and works for different people with no one style being better than another. Understanding each communication style is the first step in effective business communication.
Analytical communicators work best off of hard data, numbers and statistics. These communicators tend to make decisions based on evidence and logic, removing emotional bias from their judgement. In a work environment, analytical communicators can ground their colleagues in stressful situations as they can help make decisions using research, facts, and logic. On the other hand, however, a reliance on facts and statistics can be seen as “heartless” by colleagues who communicate better through emotion or intuition. When working with an analytical communicator, provide as much detail upfront as possible with clear expectations then let them work independently.
Intuitive communicators are often referred to as “big picture thinkers”. These are the people who don’t bother with details and processes, rather focus on the end goal. Intuitive Communicators can be very efficient since they look for the most important points first. Their big picture thinking makes them ideal for conceptualising and brainstorming. The intuitive communicator’s downfall is when the situation requires an in depth understanding of the details. Sticking to main topics that are achievable and being prepared to answer follow-up questions later will help you receive the most out of intuitive communicators.
Functional communicators are detail-oriented and procedural, breaking everything down and enjoying the process. These people pay attention to detail, making sure nothing slips through the cracks and can keep staff on track through their planning. The downside to this style is that not everyone is concerned with the minute details so there is a risk of losing attention. Working with a functional communicator is best approached by active listening, repeating what they’ve said and asking follow-up questions.
Personal communicators are the heart and soul of a workplace as they care about the emotions and feelings behind the work. These communicators tend to be good listeners, diplomatic and care about numerous relationships. This is the type of person you would enlist to resolve issues and tension in the workplace. With that being said, personal communicators can sometimes seem over-emotional, especially to those who are less in tune with emotions. For personal communicators, it is good to keep conversations light and to not get offended if they ask how something made you feel or if they make a conversation personal. It is also good practice to follow up with important details to ensure tasks are being met.