Communication Styles

Welcome to my newly formatted Tri Weekly People Skills Tips. These tips will be posted once or twice a month.

You’ve got style, at least when it comes to how you communicate.
The question is do you know what it is?
And what are the communication styles of those with whom you are communicating?

People communicate and learn in different ways. There is more than one way to communicate and learn. It is a mistake to think your co-workers and clients learn and communicate in the same style and in the same way that you do.

There are three basic styles in which people communicate:
• VISUAL- see it and can review it again by looking at it.
• AUDITORY- hear it and can repeat and hear it again for clarity.
• KINESTHETIC -feel it, experience it and understand how it works.

What’s your dominant communication style?
What is the dominant style of those with whom you work?

I once worked with a project manager who was implementing a procedure book for online support calls. The issue was that the operators weren’t “getting it”. As it turned out, they had different communication styles. To solve this problem, a print manual was made available for visual communicators/learners, a teleseminar was developed for auditory communicators/learners, and an interactive webinar was created to show a demonstration for kinesthetic communicators/learners. Following this approach, all three basic types of communicators and learners were covered.

Some people like me learn best when they hear words spoken (can you tell that I am a professional speaker?). We are called auditory learners. When auditory learners want to explain or communicate something, they speak. They say things such as: “I hear what you saying” or “it sounds good to me.”

Another group, the majority of people, are visual learners. They learn and communicate by seeing words printed or by looking at images. These people learn by reading or by looking at diagrams. They say things such as: “I see what you mean” or “it looks good to me.”

Then there are the kinesthetic or experience learners. These people need to experience, to touch, feel and taste things in order to fully understand. For them, they need a role play or a demonstration about how things work. They like to touch and to move to communicate and understand. They say things such as: “I feel what you are going through” or “I sense what you mean.”

Tip: Try using all three styles in your communication to be more effective.
Do you see what I mean, can you hear me and can you sense what I’m getting at here?