There is no right or wrong way to communicate—but understanding your communication style and that of the person you are trying to communicate with will certainly help you out in all settings, but especially in the work place.
I myself have a tendency to over-communicate. I like to make sure that the person that I am speaking —or writing to—fully understands the point that I am making. I am sure that may annoy my employees at times! I often like to communicate with staff via email but the problem with email communication is that you cannot express intonation. The recipient does not have the ability to hear inflection in your voice or know if there is an implied meaning behind the words. This uncertainty about the real meaning of the message can lead to frustration or even anger. That certainly isn’t good communication.
Communication styles in the workplace
There are several different models of communication but in this post, I am going to focus on a communication model that is often used in the workplace.
- The Analytical Communicator
- The Personal Communicator
- The Intuitive Communicator
- The Functional Communicator
The Analytical Communicator
[bctt tweet=”Analytical Communicators relate best to facts, data, and numbers.”] They like having quantitative research at their fingertips and want statements to be backed up by facts. Not comfortable with vague conversations or expressions of feelings, these types of communicators like quick conversations filled with factual information. For example, if your practice owner is an analytical communicator, telling him that you “feel” your monthly KPI’s are up will be insufficient—he is going to want numbers to support that statement.
What to be wary of: The analytical communicator can come across as frigid and uncaring.
The Personal Communicator
[bctt tweet=”Personal Communicators not only listen to what you have to say but they also want to know how you feel”] about what you are saying. They can be diplomatic and generally care about the relationships they develop. Conversations with a personal communicator may be longer than what you would expect because they are busy asking questions and trying to understand your mind. For example, a personal communicator may notice that a fellow team member seems “off” or isn’t acting like their “normal self” and start questioning them as to why. The personal communicator not only feeds off the vibes of their surroundings, but also seeks to understand what is causing even a minimal disruption in the environment.
What to be wary of: The personal communicator can be a little more emotional or more personal than some people are comfortable with, especially in the workplace.
The Intuitive Communicator
[bctt tweet=”The Intuitive Communicator doesn’t want to take the time to hear the details—they want to get right to the point!”] No need for the whole alphabet, let’s go straight to Z. The intuitive communicator is good with thinking outside the box and seeing the big picture—they have an innate ability to just see the scenario as a whole. For example, when telling your Intuitive Communicator practice owner what the marketing plan for May is, be aware that they don’t want to hear about your 8 scheduled social media posts that you worked really hard on. They just want to know that May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
What to be wary of: Sometimes the Intuitive Communicator needs to know the details and they may not have enough patience to wait for them.
The Functional Communicator
[bctt tweet=”The Functional Communicator is all about their heavy hand-written planner or Google Calendar. They want timelines on projects and well-defined plans.”] Everything is communicated fully, including all the steps to get from A to Z. The great thing about the functional communicator is that they rarely miss any type of issue that arises because they have a multi-level plan already designed and know exactly what to expect. For example, when presenting your practice owner (who is a functional communicator) with the Asthma and Allergy awareness month promotion you are planning, be sure to have a detailed plan outlining all of tactics, from social media posts and mass emails to in-clinic incentives and staff training.
Side Note: When it comes down to it, I am a functional communicator at heart. Remember me mentioning above that I have a tendency to over-communicate? That is the functional communicator in a nutshell. Unless you are speaking to another functional communicator, the reality is that nobody really wants to hear all of the steps involved in every project, so just provide the necessary details. Often, team members just want to know what they are responsible for.
What to be wary of: People not paying attention or zoning out when you provide too much detail.
What type of communication styles do you and your team members have?
I think that it is important to be aware of what type of communicator you are, and what type of communicator each of your staff members is. This will not only help you and your team to communicate better but can also help to solve potential staff conflicts.
So, ask yourself, what is your communication style? If you are unsure what type of communicator you are, or where your staff may fall, check with your distributor reps regarding a communication workshop! My Patterson, as well as several of my other reps, offered training options for a staff meeting that helps teams identify how each member communicates.
Flow Chart from: https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/types-of-communication-styles authored by Shannon Williams
Wendy Jureski, CCFE has worked in veterinary medicine for more than 20 years. She is the Practice Manager at a veterinary practice in Jacksonville, FL. She is also a Social Media Manager for a website design firm that supports clients in the veterinary industry. You can reach Wendy at [email protected].