how to

USE communication styles for team success

Teams Are Like A Puzzle...

Let's dive into the fascinating world of communication styles and team dynamics! 

Think of each team member's communication style as a unique piece of a puzzle. 

And... using my decades of experience in organizational psychology, team dynamics, and communication strategies, I'm excited to help you put these pieces together. 

Understanding the 21 different communication styles isn't just interesting – it's a game-changer. 

It can make your team work better together, get more done, and create a happier, more positive place to work. 

Let's explore these styles together and see how knowing them can transform your team!

Everyone has a natural communication style

There Are 21 Communication Styles

The 21 communication styles

The 21 Communication Styles

Over the past decade, based on our research and working with thousands of people, we've identified 21 different communication styles and created the Communication Styles 2.0™ model based on them.

Each of these 21 styles has unique characteristics. 

They range from those who prioritize task completion to those who focus on relationship building. Some styles are big-picture oriented, always looking at the broader vision, while others delve into the nitty-gritty details with precision. 

This diversity, though challenging, is actually a team's greatest asset.

Task-Oriented or Relationship-Oriented

Task-oriented communicators are the people who want to get things done, focused on achieving goals and ticking off checkboxes. 

They thrive on clear objectives and measurable outcomes. 

On the other hand, relationship-oriented communicators are the glue that holds the team together. 

They prioritize interpersonal connections and ensure that the work environment remains collaborative and supportive.

Big Picture or Details

Big-picture communicators are your visionaries. 

They see beyond the immediate, planning for the long-term and driving innovation. 

In contrast, detail-oriented communicators excel in ensuring that every 'i' is dotted and every 't' is crossed. Their precision and attention to detail are what bring a visionary’s ideas to fruition.

Understand Communication Styles For Team Success

When these individual styles come together, they form a unique team communication style. 

This style has its own set of tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. For instance, a team heavy on big-picture thinkers might excel in innovation but struggle with execution. 

Conversely, a team of detail-oriented individuals might be excellent in execution but lack in innovation.

Leverage Strengths and Address Weaknesses

The key to harnessing the power of these diverse communication styles lies in balance and understanding. 

Recognizing the value in each style allows teams to leverage these strengths strategically. 

For example, involving detail-oriented members in the planning phase can ground big-picture ideas in reality. 

Similarly, encouraging big-picture thinkers to participate in review processes can inject a dose of creativity and innovation into the mundane.

People who are close to each other on the Circle of Styles™ usually communicate easily with each other because they communicate in similar ways.
If team members are farther apart on the Circle (but not directly opposite), they have to work harder to get along because their communication styles are different.
People who are directly opposite each other on the Circle often have opposite ways of communicating, which can lead to disagreements.

Not Every Team Needs All Of The Styles

In reality, the make up of a team's communication styles often naturally aligns with its specific purpose and goals. 

For instance, a team focused on innovation and creative solutions might be made up of primarily of big-picture thinkers, while a team responsible for detailed project execution might have more detail-oriented communicators.

Similar Styles Can Be An Advantage

This alignment of communication styles with team objectives is an advantage in many ways. 

Team members with similar communication styles will find it easier to understand each other, which leads to smoother internal communication and more efficient collaboration. They also share a common language and approach to problem-solving, which can streamline processes and increase the productivity of the team.

Problems Communicating With Other Teams

However, when everyone has similar communication styles it can present challenges, particularly when interacting with teams that have different purposes and, therefore, different predominant communication styles. 

For example, a team of creative thinkers might struggle to communicate effectively with a team that focuses on logistics and details. The former's broad, conceptual approach will naturally conflict with the latter's need for concrete, specific information.

The Need For Cross-Team Strategies

This potential for miscommunication underscores the importance of developing cross-team communication strategies.

Teams need to recognize and adapt to these differences in communication styles when interacting with each other.

This adaptation might involve adjusting the level of detail in shared information, varying the communication medium (e.g., visual vs. written), or employing liaisons who can bridge different communication styles.

In essence, while it's natural and often beneficial for teams to be composed of members with similar communication styles that align with their primary functions, it's equally important to develop the ability to communicate effectively with teams of different styles. 

This adaptability enhances overall organizational cohesiveness, creates mutual understanding, and makes sure that diverse teams can collaborate effectively to achieve broader organizational goals.

Practical Strategies You Can Use Right Now!

When it comes to building a cohesive and effective team, understanding and implementing a plan to use communication styles to build teams that communicate effectively is crucial. 

In any group setting, the way team members exchange ideas, give feedback, and collaborate can significantly influence the overall success of the team. 

By recognizing and adapting to the diverse communication styles present within a team, leaders and members can create a more productive, understanding, and conflict free working environment. Understanding communication styles not only enhances team dynamics but also ensures that every member's voice is heard and valued, which leads to more innovative solutions and a stronger sense of unity.

Here are some strategies that can help your communicate more effectively and leverage their collective strengths.

Conduct A Styles-Based Workshop: A workshop or on-line training will help team members understand and appreciate each other’s communication styles, leading to more effective collaboration. We will be delighted to conduct both virtual and live communication workshops. Online training is always available at no cost.
Encourage Cross-Style Conversations: Once everyone understands their communication style, pairing team members with different styles can build mutual learning and understanding.
Balance Teams Strategically: When forming teams for projects decide whether the best strategy is to build a team where member each have similar styles or balance the styles to ensure a mix of visionary thinking, detailed execution, task orientation, and relationship building.
Customize Communication Channels: Use different communication channels that reach different styles – from detailed reports for the detail-oriented to visual presentations for big-picture thinkers. If you have a mix of styles, use a mix of methods to reach each of them in the way they prefer.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the identification and integration of the 21 communication styles within a team are not just about improving communication; it’s about unlocking the full potential of the team. 

When you understand and value these diverse communication styles, teams can not only navigate their internal dynamics more effectively but also drive better results, foster innovation, and create a more harmonious and productive workplace.

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