You can use your understanding of communication styles to improve your interactions with others.
First, review the Communication Styles Matrix presented in “What Kind of Communicator Are You?” for a full overview.
Each communication style can be linked to a set of distinct values. Recognizing and understanding these values can help you build connection with others during disagreements or difficult conversations.
Here are some of the more common values that underpin the four styles:
Considering the underlying values of each communication style can help you reduce friction and have more productive dialogue with others.
Putting values-driven communication into action:
Step 1: Take the time to understand someone’s communication style. During a conversation, if you notice having judgments, try to identify the gap between the values they favor versus yours.
Step 2: Express appreciation for other communication styles by pointing out the values that underpin them. For example:
Step 3: Consider ways you can adapt your style when you are speaking to someone with a different style. For example:
Step 4: Consider asking for what you need. For example, it can help to:
Step 5: Be patient with yourself and others. It can be difficult to adapt to others’ communication styles, and it’s unlikely that you’ll get it right every time. Others may not always respond exactly as we hoped either. Do your best to be gentle with yourself and others, recognizing that it takes time to build effective communication skills.
Consider the last difficult conversation you had: