4 Effective Business Communication Skills
Whether you believe that you are a perfect employee/partner/manager/other or understand that you are inherently flawed, identifying your own communication style and the communication styles of those around you will allow you to build relationships and find the type of success you didn’t know existed.
As an account manager, I am responsible for keeping a lot of people passionate, motivated, and organized—including both my teams and my clients.
Recently, a client introduced four powerful styles of communication to me. She unabashedly labels herself “The Doer”—one who appreciates quick bits and bulleted lists. Taking time to understand varying communication styles has proven to be an extremely valuable daily investment, both professionally and personally.
So, let’s have some fun and determine which type of communicator you are. If you were to speculate, what type of communicator would you guess I am?
You will soon find out…
1. The Talker
- Outgoing and fast paced
- Values personal relationships
- Prefers a collaborative approach
Talkers like to talk. You may see them floating around the office, stopping by your desk without warning to see how your weekend in the desert with your husband and two kids panned out. They probably know a lot about you (possibly too much) because they are truly interested in hearing what you have to say. The Talker is generally fast-paced, outgoing, and enthusiastic. They may be guilty of calling one too many meetings because their preferred method of problem solving occurs in a group setting—a “let’s talk this out” approach. In general, The Talker isn’t worried about all the intricate details, they’re more concerned with the big picture.
More than likely, The Talker is also your biggest cheerleader.
2. The Doer
- Forceful and results oriented
- Makes quick decisions
- Values information that supports results
The Doer has been known to step on toes because, well, sometimes he or she does so without thinking things completely through. Doers tend to be forceful with their ideas and are results-oriented. The Doer loves facts, figures, and the proof that’s in the pudding. They are goal oriented and will do whatever it takes to get to the finish line (and get there quickly). The phrase “time is money” rings true with The Doer. Doers are quick decision makers when the facts are clearly presented to them. Unlike The Talker, The Doer cares less about building meaningful relationships than about producing results.
You can count on The Doer, but sometimes Doers need to be reminded to slow down.
3. The Controller
- Detail oriented and well organized
- Relies on facts
- Lower energy level
The Controller could be compared to. . . mom. This is the ruler of the household who wipes up your crumbs as you’re eating your sandwich and who washes your clean clothes because they’re on the floor. The Controller is detail oriented and will notice the tiniest error in reports or deliverables. Controllers rely on facts, evidence, and data and are unlikely to make decisions without them. Unlike The Doer, The Controller will weigh all alternatives (both reasonable and unreasonable) before calling the shots. Controllers typically have lower energy levels and are constantly problem solving.
A clean desk, bulleted lists, file folders, clips, and scratched up calendars are good indicators that you’ve got yourself a Controller.
4. The Supporter
- Warm and attentive
- Builds trusting relationships
- Friendly and easy to approach
Remember when we compared The Controller with mom? Well, moms typically have dual personalities, and The Supporter is the warm, cuddly side of mom. Supporters are cooperative and attentive. They are good listeners and what you say truly matters to them. Their goal is to build trusting relationships and to always remind you that you can come to them for anything. Typically, The Supporter needs time to process information before contributing to the solution of any problem.
The Supporter may not always have the right answer, but their door is always open.
Who am I you ask?
I am a combination of the Doer and the Controller. This could be considered a good thing or bad (I could probably use a little dash of Supporter or Talker from time to time), but identifying these qualities in myself has allowed me to work better, smarter, and more efficiently with my both my internal teams and my clients.
Learn more about our approach to client relationships here.