Relationships are where it’s at! Making memorable, lasting connections is important to the success of your business. It is through the relationship that business gets done.

It is said that “people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.”

This simple system will help you become known, liked and trusted. It will not only help you to identify your own personal communication style, but it will assist you in learning to recognize the styles of potential clients, thus building relationships based in trust.

The Communication Styles Assessment System prepares you to build immediate rapport, whether you are meeting someone for the first time at your local coffee shop or speaking with a tablemate at a Chamber luncheon. By recognizing and accommodating the styles and needs of others, you will build a bridge for long term connection.

Simple Communication Style Assessment

For each of the following descriptive words below, place a check mark next to the word you feel describes you in most situations.

Category 1:

_____ Language is direct and to the point
_____ Independent
_____ Competitive
_____ Fast paced
_____ Task focused
_____ Bottom line or results oriented
_____ Enjoys change

_____ Total number of check marks in this category

Category 2:

_____ Optimistic
_____ Fast paced
_____ Speaks openly
_____ Energizing
_____ Charming
_____ Personable
_____ Spontaneous

_____ Total number of check marks in this category

Category 3:

_____ Supportive
_____ Agreeable
_____ Indirect with communication
_____ Strives for harmony
_____ Relationship focused
_____ Empathetic
_____ People oriented

_____ Total number of check marks in this category

Category 4:

_____ Thinks through decisions thoroughly
_____ Reserved
_____ Often times considered a perfectionist
_____ Loves information or data
_____ Accuracy is very important
_____ Orderly
_____ Task focused

_____ Total number of check marks in this category

The category with the highest number of check marks is your primary communication style. It’s the style that you most often use in social and business settings. You may also have a secondary or back up style. That style is the one with the second highest number of check marks.

Let’s give each category a name.

Category 1: Dominant

Category 2: Influence

Category 3: Steadiness

Category 4: Conscientiousness

So, what is your preferred communication style?

Styles Descriptions Expanded

Here are several additional descriptors for each style.

Category 1: Dominant

  • Language – communicates directly and to the point
  • Independent – in their actions and thinking
  • Competitive – enjoys a challenge or game with another
  • Risk taker – tends to see the potential in opportunities 
  • Fast paced – may speak or walk faster than others 
  • Task focused – desires to get things done or have others get them done
  • Bottom line oriented – prepared to ask, “What will this cost me?”
  • Enjoys change – Dislikes status quo

The Dominant Style likes a challenge, is results and action oriented, and enjoys being in control. To succeed with them, give them choices, avoid a lot of detail (net it out for them), and give them the floor to speak.

Category 2: Influence

  • Optimistic – looking for the best part of the situation
  • Fast paced – thinks fast, walks fast, makes decisions based on gut-feeling
  • Speaks openly – tends to share personal pictures and information
  • Energizing – often considered to be high-energy
  • Charming – comfortable with conversing with people new to them
  • Personable – typically well-liked by others
  • Spontaneous – quick to take action
  • Big picture focused – likes to have the high level overview on projects

The Influence Style tends to be enthusiastic and optimistic, likes to collaborate, and take action. To succeed with them, match their high-energy, hear their ideas out, and make them feel appreciated.

Category 3: Steadiness

  • Calm – patient, often predictable
  • Agreeable – easy to get along with
  • Indirect with communication – may wonder before getting to the point              
  • Strives for harmony – peace-maker, well-wisher, confidant to others
  • Relationship focused – wants everyone to get along
  • Empathetic – gets how others feel in a given situation
  • People oriented – focuses first on how change will affect people

The Steadiness Style likes being part of the team and feeling accepted, enjoys working with others, and appreciates predictability to their day. To succeed with them, avoid being overly critical, encourage them to share their feelings with you, and be supportive.

Category 4: Conscientiousness

  • Attention to detail – thinks through decisions thoroughly
  • Reserved – tends to not be the first to speak up with a different opinion  
  • Often times considered a perfectionist – correctness is very important
  • Loves information or data – this helps them maintain stability
  • Cautious – wants to avoid being wrong
  • Orderly – provides them with structure to their lives
  • Task focused – enjoys working on one project at a time

The Conscientiousness Style likes stability in their work and home life, to know what is expected of them, prefers accuracy of information to help them make good decisions, and often enjoys solving problems. To succeed with them, give them plenty of time to get to know you, complement their work using specifics, and avoid putting them on the spot. Situations that require reflective or deep thought can be difficult for this style to respond to quickly.

Every one of these descriptors may not fit you. That’s OK. Because they are generalized characteristics of each style, no person will be one pure style. We are all mixtures of all four types. That’s what makes us unique and special.

Identifying the Styles of Others

Think of someone you know that you would like to do business with. Using the assessment above, check off characteristics this person possesses. Which category did he or she fall into?

Now, re-read the additional descriptors for that style to identify how to connect with him. When communicating, keep his preferences in mind and you will build immediately connection and trust.

Practice Makes It Easy

Make a game of it! Every time you are in any kind of social setting, see if you can guess the style of the people around you. Listen closely. They will reveal their style without even knowing they are doing it, and you will know how to best relate to them. They will feel like they have known you forever.

To learn more about how you can use communication styles to improve the success of your relationships and make immediate lasting connections, contact Cheryl Jones at 210-545-2378 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”>

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