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What Your Communication Style Says About You, Why It Matters, and How to Manage Everyone Elses

There are four basic communication styles.

Expressive Systematic



Our communication style affects how others react to and perceive us.
Knowing your communication style and managing others communication styles can reduce conflicts, increase productivity, and improve teamwork in the workplace.

Expressives tend to be high energy, speak quickly, and focus on the big picture. They generally find conflict or differences in opinion invigorating.
Perception of Expressives: They can seem overly cheerful, vain, or unpredictable.

Systematics focus on the facts and details and not on the big picture. Theyre generally not comfortable with conflict.
Perception of Systematics: Systematics can be perceived as unemotional or nonchalant.

Directs are generally brief in conversation and often involved in many things at once. They tend to see the big picture and are more focused on the outcome than on the smaller tasks.
Perception of Directs: Directs can appear selfconfident, intimidating, and opinionated.

Sympathetics like to focus on people and relationships, are good listeners and generally concerned with everyones needs. Sympathetics typically dont like conflict.
Perception of Sympathetics: Sympathetics are seen as softhearted or overly helpful. They can be perceived as procrastinators when distracted.

We can avoid conflict and misunderstandings by paying close attention to how those around us are communicating.

Communication can be verbal or in the form of body language.

If you sense an imbalance, then adjust the way youre communicating either verbally or physically.
Being aware of and adapting our communication style to complement someone elses style will enable employees to sustain productivity and a harmonious work environment.