HRMT101 – Communication Styles: A Self-Assessment Exercise

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(Based on the work of P Case “Teaching for the Cross-Cultural Mind”

Washington, DC, SIETAR, 1981)

Instructions: Please select from each pair of attributes the one which is most typical of your personality. No pair is an either-or proposal. Make your choice as spontaneously as possible. There is no wrong answer.

1. I like action.

2. I deal with problems in a systematic way.

3. I believe that teams are more effective than individuals.

4. I enjoy innovation very much.

5. I am more interested in the future than in the past.

6. I enjoy working with people.

7. I like to attend well-organized group meetings.

8. Deadlines are important for me.

9. I cannot stand procrastination.

10. I believe that new ideas have to be tested before being used.

11. I enjoy the stimulation of interaction with others.

12. I am always looking for new possibilities.

13. I want to set up my own objectives.

14. When I start something, I go through until the end.

15. I basically try to understand other people’s emotions.

16. I do challenge people around me.

17. I look forward to receiving feedback on my performance.

18. I find the step-by-step approach very effective.

19. I think I am good at reading people.

20. I like creative problem solving.

21. I extrapolate and project all the time.

22. I am sensitive to others’ needs.

23. Planning is the key to success.

24. I become impatient with long deliberations.

25. I am cool under pressure.

26. I value experience very much.

27. I listen to people.

28. People say that I am a fast thinker.

29. Cooperation is a key word for me.

30. I use logical methods to test alternatives.

31. I like to handle several projects at the same time.

32. I always question myself.

33. I learn by doing.

34. I believe that my head rules my heart.

35. I can predict how others may react to a certain action.

36. I do not like details.

37. Analysis should always precede action.

38. I am able to assess the climate of a group.

39. I have a tendency to start things and not finish them up.

40. I perceive myself as decisive.

41. I search for challenging tasks.

42. I rely on observation and data.

43. I can express my feelings openly.

44. I like to design new projects.

45. I enjoy reading very much.

46. I perceive myself as a facilitator.

47. I like to focus on one issue at a time.

48. I like to achieve.

49. I enjoy learning about others.

50. I like variety.

51. Facts speak for themselves.

52. I use my imagination as much as possible.

53. I am impatient with long, slow assignments.

54. My mind never stops working.

55. Key decisions have to be made in a cautious way.

56. I strongly believe that people need each other to get work done.

57. I usually make decisions without thinking too much.

58. Emotions create problems.

59. I like to be liked by others.

60. I can put two and two together very quickly.

61. I try out my new ideas on people.

62. I believe in the scientific approach.

63. I like to get things done.

64. Good relationships are essential.

65. I am impulsive.

66. I accept differences in people.

67. Communicating with people is an end in itself.

68. I like to be intellectually stimulated.

69. I like to organize.

70. I usually jump from one task to another.

71. Talking and working with people is a creative art.

72. Self-actualization is a key word for me.

73. I enjoy playing with ideas.

74. I dislike wasting my time.

75. I enjoy doing what I am good at.

76. I learn by interacting with others.

77. I find abstractions interesting and enjoyable.

78. I am patient with details.

79. I like brief, to the point statements.

80. I feel confident in myself.

Scoring Sheet for the Communication Styles Assessment

Instructions: Circle the items you have selected and add up the totals for each style (one point per answer). The maximum is 20 per style and your total for the four styles should be 40.

Style Circle your answer here Total Score

(max. 20)

Style 1

1 – 8 – 9 – 13 – 17 – 24 – 26 – 31 – 33 – 40 – 41 –

48 – 50 – 53 – 57 – 63 – 65 – 70 – 74 – 79

Style 2

____11________

2 – 7 – 10 – 14 – 18 – 23 – 25 – 30 – 34 – 37 – 42 – 47 – 51 – 55 – 58 – 62 – 66 – 69 – 75 – 78

Style 3

____6________

3 – 6 – 11 – 15 – 19 – 22 – 27 – 29 – 35 – 38 – 43 – 46 – 49 – 56 – 59 – 64 – 67 – 71 – 76 – 80

Style 4

____11________

4 – 5 – 12 – 16 – 20 – 21 – 28 – 32 – 36 – 39 – 44 –

45 – 52 – 54 – 60 – 61 – 68 – 72 – 73 – 77

_____11_______

The Four Communication Styles

Style 1: WHAT

Style 2: HOW

ACTION (A)

Results

Objectives

Achieving

Doing

PROCESS (PR)

Strategies

Organization

Facts

Style 4: WHY

Style 3: WHO

IDEA (I)

Concepts

Theories

Innovation

PEOPLE (PE)

Communication

Relationships

Teamwork

The Main Characteristics of Communication Styles

Style

Content – people with this style talk about…

Process – people with this style

are…

Action (A)

Results

Responsibility

Pragmatic (down to earth)

Objectives

Feedback

Direct (to the point)

Performance

Experience

Impatient

Productivity

Challenges

Decisive

Efficiency

Achievements

Quick (jump from idea to idea)

Moving ahead

Change

Energetic

(challenge others)

Decisions

Process (PR)

Facts

Trying out

Systematic (stepby-step)

Procedures

Analysis

Logical (cause and effect)

Planning

Observations

Factual

Organizing

Proof

Verbose

Controlling

Details

Unemotional

Testing

Cautious

Patient

People (PE)

People

Self-development

Spontaneous

Needs

Sensitivity

Empathetic

Motivation

Awareness

Warm

Teamwork

Cooperation

Subjective

Communications

Beliefs

Emotional

Feelings

Values

Perceptive

Team spirit

Expectations

Sensitive

Understanding

Relations

Idea (I)

Concepts

What’s new in the

field

Imaginative

Innovation

Creativity

Charismatic

Interdependence

Opportunities

Difficult to

understand

New ways

Possibilities

Ego-centered

New methods

Grand designs

Unrealistic

Improving

Issues

Creative

Problems

Potential

Full of ideas

Alternatives

Provocative

Adjusting to Other Communication Styles

Communicating with an Action (A) oriented person:

· Focus on the result first; state the conclusion at the outset.

· State your best recommendation; do not offer many alternatives.

· Be as brief as possible.

· Emphasize the practicality of your ideas.

· Use visual aids to illustrate your case

Communicating with a Process (PR) oriented person:

· Be precise; state the facts.

· Organize your discussion in a logical order:

i)background

ii) present situation

iii) outcome

· Break down your recommendations.

· Include options and alternatives with pros and cons.

· Do not rush a process-oriented person.

· Outline your proposal.

Communicating with a People (PE) oriented person:

· Allow for small talk; do not start the discussion right away.

· Stress the relationship between your proposal and the people concerned.

· Show how the idea worked well in the past.

· Indicate support from well-respected people.

· Use an informal writing style.

Communicating with an Idea (I) oriented person:

· Allow enough time for discussion.

· Do not get impatient when he or she goes off on tangents.  Try to relate the discussed topic to a broader concept or idea  Stress the uniqueness of the idea or topic at hand.

· Emphasize future value or relate the impact of the idea to the future.

· If writing, try to stress the key concepts that underlie your recommendation at the outset. Start with an overall statement and work toward the particulars.

How to use this new understanding:

None of us are 100% of only one style, we are a blend of each of the four styles. Furthermore, in some situations (such as high pressure at work) we may tend to prefer one style, while in another situation (like relaxing with friends) we prefer a different approach.

However, when you consider the person you identified at the start – the person you have difficulty connecting with – I would like you to ask yourself if you can answer some simple questions.

One: Does that person fit reasonably strongly into one of these four styles? (If you had to pick one of the four, which best represents that person?)

Two: Is that a different style to your own preferred style?

Three: So why are you surprised that you find it hard to communicate with them?

If we want to gain that person’s full attention, we need to adapt the way we are trying to get through to them!

No, we do not need to change our message. We need to change the way we are expressing it.

Let’s move on to think about some tips on how to do this. As a little test, check out the suggestions for communicating with somebody like yourself, with your preferred communication style – would these seem like good strategies to you?

If so, you can bet the others will work too.

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