We cannot “not” communicate. Our non-verbal behaviour speaks volumes whether we realize it or not. We’ve heard it before: “Know who you’re talking to and adapt your communication style to your listeners’ style.” As many times as we’ve heard these words to be the key for creating and managing relationships, I’ve found that people often do the opposite. Whether I’m observing a speaker or sales representative, or having a one-to-one conversation with a client, it’s obvious their messages are about them. They’re oblivious to reading their listeners’ non-verbal and verbal cues. This is not that difficult to do.
Imagine where you could take your relationships with others if you took the time to listen to what works for them. We have preferences – certain skills and behaviours that make us who we are. Recognizing styles in yourself and others can help you influence and build relationships and become a better communicator. There are a variety of instruments that identify individual communication styles. For the purpose of this article, I’ve chosen the four communication styles identified by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. These styles are based on tendencies to be task-oriented, versus people-oriented and easygoing, versus take-charge.