In a world of human interaction, there are regular and daily occurrences where our ability to communicate effectively breaks down. Often this is because we don’t understand the different ways of communicating with others. Here we will take a look at 7 great communication styles to help with any occasion.

Every one of us has experienced a time where we said something to another person and what we said was completely misunderstood. Communication is a complex mix of words, interpretation, and a person’s experience in life as well as their own personal beliefs. Very often what someone says and what the other person hears are completely different things.

When it comes to communicating with people of different genders, different age groups, and different cultures, or even languages, it all serves to break down good understanding. But there are skill sets that can be learned when communicating that can help produce better results. When we learn to understand the different ways of communicating then we can make sure to include several of them when we’re trying to express something important to another person.

By using several key styles of communicating we can increase the likelihood that those that are listening to us will actually understand what it is that we are saying. If you are a person who thinks in images but another person expresses themselves in terms of feelings then this is a perfect example of when communication will break down. Learning the 7 great communication styles helps you to better understand how others communicate and how you most often communicate.

Once we can understand how we commonly communicate and think and how others communicate and think, then we are better able to communicate in an effective way and in a way that we are better understood. Anyone that is trying to improve their communication skills will need to understand that there are filters that everyone uses when listening. Without a good understanding of these filters and the perceptions that are formed because of them, even when we speak the same language our words will likely be interpreted incorrectly.

The 7 Great Communication Styles

1. The Detailed Oriented Person

When this person thinks and speaks they do so in a very systematic way. They think about the specific details of a situation, or specific features that are involved, or direct characteristics of the situation. If you try to communicate with this person in terms of feelings rather than details then this person is highly likely to misunderstand what it is that you’re talking about.

This type of person will need to understand the facts and they want things to fit and to make sense. They are likely to ask, who wants this done? Why are we talking about this, or why does this need to be done? Where does this need to go or where do we need to do what it is that needs doing?

When talking with a detailed oriented person, this is what they are looking for. If you start talking about why you feel a certain thing should be done instead of expressing details about why it needs to be done, then you will lose this person in many cases. While you both may walk away thinking that everyone understood the same thing, you are likely to find later that each of you had a completely different understanding.

2. The Judge

This type of person communicates based on their own opinions. They will judge you and judge things based on their personal opinions. The thing is, while it’s their opinion, they assert it as if it’s a fact. For this person, whatever it is that they think about a thing or person, those thoughts are facts in their mind.

You will commonly hear this person begin their sentences with phrases such as, ‘in my view’, or ‘it’s my opinion that’, and so forth. They will also make it clear when they are standing in judgment of something or someone. They do this by saying, ‘you should have done this’, or ‘you could have done that’, or ‘if you would have done this thing then everything would have been fine’.

By some estimates, there is as many as 10% of people who use this style as their method of communication. When this person is spoken to in terms of specific details it won’t be as clear to them as it would be if you can communicate with them in the way that they think and understand which is opinion. If you use or mirror their communication method then they will better understand you.

3. Emotional

Someone who is emotional thinks in terms of feelings. It feels hot today or I didn’t get a good vibe from that person. Everything that this person does to think about something or to communicate to others is in terms of how they feel or what they feel about a particular thing or person. If they don’t feel good about something then they’re never going to be completely comfortable with doing it.

Often in a workplace, if they are constantly told about facts and details or they’re told that they need to do something based on someone’s opinion then this type of communications is just simply going to go in one ear and out the other. The reason is that it doesn’t meet their way of thinking. But on the other hand, if you can say to them something like, ‘don’t the new changes feel refreshing’? This is now talking in their language.

4. Reactive

This type of person is often said to wear their feelings on their shoulder. They will speak without thinking and often find they have put their foot in their mouth. This type of person really doesn’t have normal filters that others have and for this reason, they speak in a way that can appear to be abrasive.

Some of the common ways in which they express themselves are by saying things such as, ‘that’s incredible’. They may also talk in terms of how much they hate something or they just love that color. This is also the person that you can be speaking to and one minute you’re having a great conversation and suddenly you’ve said something that they react to in an explosive way.

5. Direct

This style of communication is from someone who speaks directly and is always thinking in terms of doing something. For this reason, some of the common phrases they might use would be, ‘let’s cut to the chase’. This person really doesn’t understand it when someone starts talking about their feelings regarding a subject matter or person and yet they will be better able to understand someone who focuses on just the facts.

While they will understand a factually based conversation it’s still not their ideal type of conversation. A detailed oriented person wants to know all the facts but a direct person just wants to know the most important things needed. Often good communication comes from understanding these small nuances.

6. Reflective

This type of person wants to understand before they speak. For this reason, it is common for this person to be quiet. They are seen as someone who is very passive and very often they don’t offer up a lot of their own ideas. When speaking with this person their response to any question is often, ‘let me think about that’. This type of person is not very comfortable with some of the other forms of communication.

An individual who communicates in this way is often intimidated by aggressive mannerisms or being pushed to respond quickly to a question. They can become easily frustrated when not giving enough time to contemplate.

7. Aggressive

This person will communicate in a way that dominates the conversation. They often will interrupt the conversation and inject their own ideas. They may use some of the above forms of communication in the way that they talk with others but the dominant expression of their ideas is done in a very domineering way.

This type of person wants to be boss even if they are not. They expect their ideas to be accepted at face value and are irritated when their ideas are questioned. Very often it requires reminding them who really is in charge for them to open up and listen to what’s being said.

The key to taking full advantage of the seven great communication styles is understanding the difference between them. Obviously, the average person will use some or all of these at some time during their conversations. But the key is learning to listen for which style is dominant in their conversations. Once you can understand which one of these styles that dominates each person when you’re communicating with then you can use that to get better results.

Whenever you’re talking with a group you should try and include as many of these different styles as make sense. By including the different styles in your presentation you will increase the amount of the listeners that more fully understand what you were saying. When we fail to understand that people communicate and think differently from one another then we greatly reduce our opportunity to be understood.

Communicating Across Language Styles

When the boss is someone who is very detailed-oriented and speaks in terms of facts and specifics and they ask someone who thinks and communicates in terms of feelings, then when they speak they can easily misunderstand one another. The boss might ask if a change in the morning meeting venue might be appropriate. The feeling person might respond by saying, ‘I feel a change is good’.

This response may be understood in completely different ways by each person. For this reason, if the answer is not clarified then it’s unclear if they both understood the same thing.

Improve Memory By Learning The 7 Great Communication Styles

As well as greatly improving communications between family, friends, colleagues, and underlings, learning to think, communicate, and hear the different styles of communications has been proven to strengthen memory and recall. Learning to listen to and respond using different styles of communication develops new pathways in the brain that increases memory and recall.

It is easy to see the value in becoming aware of the different styles of communication and to learn to use that knowledge to enhance the correct understanding between two people or with a group. It is not as hard as it might first appear to learn these styles and to begin using them effectively in your conversations with others.