After taking the self-assessment, I found I scored highest on the categories of Style 2, which is focused on process; and Style 4, which is focused on Ideas. My lowest score was Style 2, which emphasizes people. Based on this assessment, I can see how I take a very logical and analytical approach to communication. I like to formulate specific strategies before I put them into action. I also like thinking about various concepts and theories when planning a specific action or communication method to take. I also seek to innovate and find new possible solutions in order to make a goal more efficient. However, I was also able to learn from the assessment that not everyone has the same communicative styles as I do; people who rank highly on the categories in which I scored low tend to be more action-oriented or teamwork focused. This has made me realize there are different approaches I can take to communication when conversing with someone who does not share my same approach.
One of the key factors of good communication is empathy. This means understanding not only another person’s perspective and experience, but also how they might communicate with others (Jones et al., 2016). Because I am focused on the process of communicating, I often find I will review every detail and point before bringing them up in conversation, at least when the conversation being had is important or relates to work. I often find that I will explain my reasoning to a great degree, because this is how I communicate my logical process. However, some people are only interested in the answers, rather than reviewing the work it took to come up with the conclusions. I find this most often happens in a work environment. Therefore, if I am better able to recognize someone who may be action-oriented, rather than process-oriented, I can shorten the conversation by letting the other person know the conclusions I have reached, but not necessarily sharing all of the details that went into my analysis. I would be able to support my conclusions if asked, but if this step isn’t necessary for the other person. I believe my communications with action-oriented persons will be more efficient.
Similarly, I also scored low on Style 3, which is focused on people. This means I do not always communicate best in group settings, and I often find I trust conclusions I have made through my own analysis. This does not mean I distrust others, but rather that I have more confidence if I know the methods and procedures that are involved. This can sometimes mean I do not always consider the opinions of others as much as I could. If I am able to consider other perspectives and listen more closely to what other people are saying, I believe I would improve my communication skills in a group setting. Because communication is more than just verbal language, and involves a significant amount of body language as well (Greenaway et al., 2015), I believe I can work on this aspect of my communications by employing active listening. Active listening is more than just hearing the words being spoken, but considering why and how they are spoken as well (Jones et al., 2016). This would ideally let me focus less on my own internal thought processes, and more fully understand a problem being discussed by having the perspective of someone else.
Overall, my communication style can be seen to be very methodical and analytical, as I believe this process gives me the most information to make the best decision. However, because not everyone thinks or communicates in the same manner, there are steps I can take to become a better communicator. This would involve being more empathic, and employing an active listening style.