In the book Straight Talk: Turning Communication Upside Down for Strategic Results, Eric Douglas describes four different communication styles: the director, expresser, thinker and harmonizer. Each different style is based on a unique set of assumptions. Here’s a quick snapshot:
Director: Directors are hard-charging, action-oriented leaders, focused on results. The director’s style of communicating is assertive and task-oriented. The Director’s style is to assume that quick action and decisiveness yield the best results. Directors frame the world as a competitive place of action and decisiveness.
Expressor: Expressors focus on leading through their creative ideas. The expressor’s style of communicating is assertive and people-oriented. Their operating assumption is that people should feel free to voice their opinions, think outside of the box, and articulate what they feel. They truly enjoy entertaining. Expressors focus on the world as an intricate place where people are acknowledged for their lifetime achievements and creativity.
Thinker: Thinkers are detail-oriented leaders and focused on what it takes to get the job done right. the communication style of the Thinker tends to be less assertive than that of the Director or Expressor. Like Directors, Thinkers are also task oriented; they assume that there’s a best way to do things – and it’s their job to make sure no mistakes are made. They often feel rewarded when a goal is achieved. They frame the world as a place in which to solve problems and get things done.
Harmonizor: Harmonizors lead by supporting others. Their style of communication is also far less assertive than that of the Director or Expressor. Similar to Expressors, Harmonizors are also very people oriented. They operate on the assumption that they need to look after the needs of the team and other people’s welfare. There is a feeling of accomplishment when the team does well. They often see the world as a place where personal relationships are an extremely important part of their lives and they prefer to collaborate in the workforce.
People cannot be lumped into one of these styles. They are ultimately a combination of all four. In order to understand your communication styles, you need to understand the extent of the styles you exhibit.
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Check out the latest dynamic book by Eric Douglas titled Leading at Light Speed – a step-by-step guide to help you build trust, spark innovation, and create a high-performing organization.