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Communication Styles

What is your communication style?

Have you ever lost or suspected that you lost a customer because of miscommunication or failure to connect with the customer? If so, your style of communicating may have clashed with the customers’. The way business owners communicate with their clients/customers, employees, vendors, service providers, and other stakeholders can impact the success of their businesses.

How do you communicate?

When you communicate are you assertive, passive, or aggressive? Are you a good listener? Are you considerate of people's feelings and concerns? Are you confident? Do you hurl orders at people? Do you avoid conflict? Are you respectful? Are you open or closed minded? Would you prefer not to communicate?

Communication styles are based on our personalities, personal experiences, perceptions, values, and beliefs. Our moods at the time of the communication play a role as well.

Communication Styles

Medhunters, a job board for the health care industry, lists four types of communicators: relater, socializer, thinker, and director. Listed below is a brief description of each type. Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions?


Relaters are considerate, cooperative, and people-centered. Always willing to help, they are good listeners and great team players.

They dislike conflict and may be too focused on being peacemakers. This can hinder their ability to do their jobs effectively.

Relaters can also be leery of change, which can disrupt their relationships and work routines.


Socializers are expressive, enthusiastic, and often speak quickly. They are great motivators who embrace challenge and are not afraid of conflict. They also focus on the big picture and become bored with routine.

Because they often think and speak quickly, they may not give others the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Furthermore, their aversion to routine and details may cause them to discount valuable ideas and procedures.  


Thinkers are analytical, technical, and systematic. They are independent, detailed-oriented, and methodical.

Thinkers value logic and often focus on facts and technical details when communicating.

Like relaters, thinkers are uncomfortable with conflict and need time to adjust to change.


Directors are – as you would imagine – direct. They tend to be aggressive and ambitious. Goal oriented in nature, directors "thrive on change" and welcome being involved with several projects simultaneously.

Unlike thinkers, directors are not detailed-oriented and do not shy away from conflict. They can, however, appear to be forceful and stubborn.

Because they are driven to achieve results, they tend to lose sight colleagues’ and employees’ needs.

Benefits of Discovering Your Communication Style

Communication styles are deeply rooted in people's personalities, perceptions, and emotional structures. As these descriptions indicate, there are negative and positive aspects to each communication style.

Assessing your communication style and determining how it helps and hinders you will enable you to better communicate with customers, employees, vendors, and other business stakeholders, which could strengthen relationships and lead to increased business.


American Society of Mechanical Engineers




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