Monday, July 10, 2023

Understanding Your Audience With the Four Communication Styles

No one communication style is inherently better than another. But picking the wrong style for a particular audience, whether it’s one person or a thousand, shuts down listening and can spell trouble. Learning to build flexibility around your preferred style allows others to more successfully hear the important things you need to communicate.

Mark Murphy 

Every writing project you start you decide on the kind of style you're going to use that will get your message across in the best way.

Four Key Communication Styles

There are four communication styles:

  • Analytical
  • Intuitive
  • Functional
  • Personal

It's commonly known by both teachers and people that everyone has a particular style of learning.  For instance, some people say that they learn better with the help of pictures and images.  Although there isn't much proof that learning this way makes much of an impact.

Which is why learning is best remembered when the content is tailor made to suit the reader.  This is why you shouldn't use the same style of communication every time.

NY Times best selling author Mark Murphy sees four communication styles that can describe most people.

Analytical Style

People who prefer the analytical style of communication like their information to be precise and real.  This makes them more open to the facts and data presented, but not so receptive to emotional wording.

You can use things like graphs, tables, charts and statistical analysis to convince them of your side of the story.

With all of this information laid out before your audience you've made them think they've done enough research to know the real facts.

Intuitive Style

Some people prefer the intuitive style because they don't have time to look through long explanations.  Instead they prefer to read their information later and read up on the how, where, when and why.  They tend to be visionaries who think outside the box and don't like following instructions.  

Functional Style

Functional style relates well to people that like to follow-through a plan and prefer a systematic approach.  Which is why to-do lists, details and instructions are good ways of putting your message across.  The functional style of communication is all about any kind of methodology which involves instructional and practical writing.

Personal Style

People who like the personal style of communication prefer feelings and emotion shown through stories, comments, reactions, testimonials and reviews.  Things with a human point of view, with facts and psychology thrown in.

Readers readily identify with personal stories, and tragedies.

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