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Two Dimensions of Communication

Over the past decade we've worked with tens of thousands of people to develop an easy way to understand communication tendencies, strengths, and challenges - and the result is Communication Styles 2.0™.

Communication Styles 2.0 gives you and easy way to understand your natural communication tendencies and see how you are likely to interact with others with either similar or completely different natural tendencies.

And, it also gives you and easy way to understand the interactions and relationships on any team and give everyone easy-to-use strategies to quickly become more effective communicators.

Best of all, these concepts are easy to understand, easy to use, and will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Here's a quick summary:

Everyone has a natural Communication Style which is their regular or familiar communication patterns and the strategies they use to communicate across a broad variety of situations.  It's how we relate to others. 
There are only two dimensions of communication and everyone falls somewhere on these two axis.
To be an effective communicator, understand where you fall on each of the axis and where the other person falls. Be aware of your natural tendencies and adapt them to match the style of the other person.

The Task / People Axis of Communication

The first axis of communication is the horizontal axis and it symbolically represents a tendency to focus on the task compared to a tendency to focus on people and relationships when communicating.

It can be represented as a line like this:

Communication Styles Task-People Axis

Everyone falls somewhere on this line.

Those of us who fall on the far left of the line have a very strong tendency to be task oriented, focusing on “getting to the point” and getting things done when we are talking with someone.

Some people fall toward right end of the line and tend to focus on building and maintaining relationships when they are communicating and interacting with other people.

Most people are somewhere between the ends and not on the ends. This is why there are more than just for or five communication styles.

When I explain this as part of a workshop, I usually get questions related to whether a task or a people orientation is better or which one is right or wrong. Here’s the answer as clearly as I can say it:

Neither of these is right or wrong, neither is better or worse than the other. They just are what they are.

The Big Picture / Details Axis of Communication

The second axis of communication is the vertical axis and it symbolically represents a tendency to focus on the big picture compared to a tendency to focus on details when communicating.  

Once again, everyone falls somewhere along the line between the two extremes.

I fall on the upper end of the line right near the top at the big picture arrow.

This means that my natural tendency when communicating is to focus on the big picture at the expense of the details.

While this can be very useful in some situations, in others it can create real problems.

Where do you think you fall on this axis?

Communication Styles Big Picture - Details Axis

Yes, This Difference Can Cause Communication Problems!

As you can imagine, someone who has a natural tendency to focus on the big picture and has not much interest in details could easily irritate a detail oriented communicator.

Of course, the opposite is also true.

The detail person could really annoy the big picture person with their questions and insistence on knowing the exact who, what, when, where, and why of a situation, assignment, or story.

A big picture person will say “let’s go on vacation.” And the detail person will respond with “where will we stay?” or “how long?” or  “how will we pay for it?” or maybe even “what if it rains?” Unfortunately, the big picture person has thought about none of these things and is simply thinking about the big idea of “going on vacation.”

You can see the potential for conflict and miscommunication if each person only uses his or her natural tendencies.

Once again, neither is better than the other or right or wrong. They simply are what they are. But they can surely irritate each other if they’re not aware of each other’s tendencies and careful in their communication

How To Use Communication Styles To Predict Conflict

The two dimensions of the Communication Styles 2.0 model give you a clear way to predict how easy or difficult it will be to communicate with someone using your natural style.

The closer you are to someone on one of the axis, the easier it will be to communicate with them using your natural style.

The farther away you are, the more natural conflict and misunderstandings are likely to occur, but it’s not inevitable. This is especially true now that you understand your own tendencies.

It’s important to realize that there is value in having people with different communication styles interacting and working with each other.

The big picture person can benefit from the tendencies of the detail person and vice versa. The world would be a boring place if everyone were the same.

Let's make it easy to understand with...

The Communication Styles 2.0 Circle of Styles™

Communication Styles 2.0 Circle of Styles With Two Axis

The Communication Styles 2.0 model Circle of Styles overlays the twelve primary Communication Styles on top of the two axis of communication.

Because the Circle of Styles overlays the two axis, it is easy to determine the basic characteristics of each of the Styles based upon their location on the Circle.

The six Styles on the left side of the Circle tend to be task oriented in their communication and the six Styles on the right side tend to be people oriented when they communicate.

Likewise, the six on the top tend to be big picture and the six on the bottom are oriented more toward details when they talk to or email you.

Predicting Communication Tendencies

The Communication Styles with the strongest tendencies are those on the diagonals of the Circle.    

The Doer is the most task/big picture oriented style.
The Promoter is the most big picture/people oriented.
The Supporter is the most people/detail oriented.
The Analyzer is the most detail/task oriented.

As you move around the Circle from the diagonals, the tendencies begin to combine and soften. For example, as you move to the right and around the top of the Circle from the Doer to the Motivator, the tendency becomes less about task and more about people.

The Persuader is even less task and more people than the Motivator until you arrive at the Promoter who is strongly people oriented in their communication tendencies.

Now you can deduce the basic tendencies of any Style on the Circle.

This gives you a fast way of understanding how you will interact with any other style!

Strongest Motivations On The Diagonal

Is Communication This Simple?

Sort of.

I know that for some readers (the big picture styles) that’s a good enough answer, but for many of you (the detail styles), it’s not. So let me give you more insight into the details.

This basic Communication Styles 2.0 model and Circle of Styles give you a quick way to understand yourself and anticipate how you will communicate with anyone else on the Circle using your natural style. I’ll explain more about this soon.
The two axis are designed to be simple so that they are fast and easy to understand and use, but people aren’t quite this simple. Each of the communication styles have a much greater depth of tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses than the few that I have included here. This is why we have 21 communication styles in the model, not just four or five.
Not everyone fits neatly into one of these twelve styles. Some people are combinations of these twelve foundational styles and because of this are called the “blends.” This provides more precision and detail when you need it.

Let's meet the blends...

The Communication Styles 2.0 Blend Styles

In many situations, the twelve primary communication styles provide enough detail to get a fast improvement in communication between individuals and within groups.

If that's you, you can stop reading now and find your exact communication style along with your tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, and a customized action plan.

Why The Blend Styles Are Important

As we worked with tens of thousands of people over the past decade, it become clear that not everyone falls neatly into one of the twelve primary Communication Styles, the Communication Styles 2.0 model has nine additional Styles to give it extra precision when describing a person’s natural Communication Style.

These blended styles each have a primary underlying Communication Style but expand to include characteristics of some of the adjacent Styles.

These blends make subtle distinctions between Communication Styles possible. This level of detail is valuable when comparing individuals to each other, diagnosing problems, or working with teams.

Because these Styles are combinations of their underlying Styles, I’m not going to go into great detail about each of them. You can come to your own conclusions by understanding the Styles that underlie each blend and drawing the necessary inferences.

To explain exactly how this works, I’ll use the following illustration of the blended Chancellor Style.
In this illustration of the Communication Styles 2.0 Circle of Styles, you can see that the Chancellor Style covers the area from Analyzer to Promoter. The center of the arc falls on the Doer.

Because the Doer is at the midpoint of the arc, it is the primary style behind the Chancellor and the Chancellor will mainly have the characteristics and motivations of the Doer.

However, since the Chancellor also wraps around the Circle in the direction of the Promoter who is people motivated and the Analyzer who is order motivated, you can know that the natural action motivation of the Doer is modified by the additional motivations of order and people.

As the arc moves farther away from its center point the influence of the underlying Styles decreases. In this Chancellor example, this means that the impact of the Doer is greatest, the Challenger and Motivator are secondary, the Solver and Persuader have the next amount of impact, and the Analyzer and Promoter have the least amount of impact.

Chancellor Communication Style

Everything Put Together

The Complete Communication Styles 2.0™ Model

Everybody falls somewhere on the two axis of communication.
The twelve primary communication styles give you a fast and easy way to understand your communication tendencies and the tendencies of others.
The blends and diagonals provide more detail when it is needed - typically in coaching or conflict situations.
The closer two people are to each other on the circle, the easier it is for them to communicate effectively with each other using their natural communication styles.
The further apart people are on the circle, the more likely there will be natural conflict.
Each person is responsible for adapting their communication to match the style of the other person(s).

Our Mission

Because effective communication is the foundational skill that underlies all other skills, our mission is to create communication frameworks and strategies that individuals and teams can use to have a more positive and productive work environment even if they don't know what to do, have had difficulty changing in the past, or don't have much time so they can become a more effective, successful team.

How can this benefit you and your team?

Contact Us

Maximum Advantage
4800 Linglestown Rd.
Suite 302
Harrisburg, PA 17112


Copyright(C) 2015-2024 Maximum Advantage / DataTech Software Inc.
Communication Styles 2.0, the Circle of Styles and the style names are trademarks of Maximum Advantage

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