Do you know your communication style? Obviously, there are many different ones. But we often generally divide them under these two big umbrellas: data-driven and emotional. Whatever your style, it helps to understand why you – and others – present things the way you do. Let’s take a look at the two communication styles.
Emotion Driven. Emotion-driven communicators use their intuition to relate to others and problem solve. They can easily read a room or the person they’re talking to, and know how to steer a conversation accordingly.
Emotion-driven communicators can be difficult for data-driven people to relate to. So here are some tips for communicating with them. Understand that they’ll sometimes forgo data and facts, relying instead on stories and examples to make their case. Be accepting of this; just because they focus on the big picture doesn’t mean their point of view is any less valid or correct. When you talk to them, relay your intent (Do you agree with them? Or are you looking for common ground? Trying to understand better?) and then show that you understood their message before continuing on to make your own point.
When working with art directors, UX designers or app developers, who are often emotion-driven, relay the bottom line of what you’re trying to say as it relates to them. For example, if there are coding challenges, translate to them how that might affect the user experience.
Data Driven. This is how technical professionals tend to think. They rely on logic and precision to do their jobs, and linear thinking, strategy, and facts to solve problems. So approaching them in an overly emotional way can cause them to shut down.
Instead, when communicating with data-driven people, remember less is more. Provide clear facts and get straight to the point, then give them time to think about things.
Whatever your communication style, don’t be deterred if you struggle at first to effectively communicate with people who think differently from you. The more you make an effort, the more adept you’ll get at understanding others, as well as making yourself understood.
When you respect a co-worker’s style, you build trust, and you’ll come to enjoy great working relationships – which makes your job that much easier.