What is your communication style?
Everyone communicates differently. Some people are much better at verbal communication while others have honed their non-verbal communication skills.
Communication styles can greatly impact how you respond to situations at work and the way you perceive how people respond to you.
Knowing what your strengths are will help you figure out how you can most effectively improve so you can quickly advance in your career. Because the truth is, great leaders are great communicators. Great communicators know how to leverage all communications styles.
Do you have an idea of where you’d like to be in the next 2-5 years of your job? Who is currently in that position? What communication strengths do they have? What communications strengths do you need to work on to get there? The key is figuring out where you should start to become a well-rounded communicator.
The good news is – there is no right or wrong way to communicate! It’s about constantly improving.
In our communications work, we’ve discovered the top four types of communication styles:
- Verbal Communications
- Non-Verbal Communications
- Visual Communications
- Written Communications
You will fall in one of the four as that style comes most naturally to you. If you haven’t taken our Communication Style Quiz, do so today to find out what your strengths are!
Each style of communications is important and has a lot of meaningful value. In fact, it can vary by culture too. Those in low context cultures (i.e. U.S., Australia, Germany, etc) may appreciate verbal as they express ideas with more explicit messaging. While those in high context cultures (i.e. China, Singapore, Mexico, etc) may appreciate non-verbal or even visual communications because messages are often inferred. The same can be said about the business world or the career industry you are in.
Some jobs will require you to have extremely strong visual communication skills. Others will focus more on verbal communication skills. The highest level of communicators knows how to swiftly navigate between all four. In fact, it’ll give you an edge because you know where you’re strongest in and what style to deploy next.
Below, we’ve broken down the four communication styles.
1. Verbal Communications
No matter the field you work in, verbal communication skills are necessary. Verbal communication is your choice of words or the spoken language to share and transfer information with other people.
Strong verbal communicators are innately good at storytelling, crafting messages that are thoughtful and engaging. Often times those with strong verbal communication skills are more comfortable with public speaking or leading a team meeting.
If you are an aspiring leader or a current leader, you will want to continuously leverage and improve your verbal communications skills.
Traits of strong verbal communicators include:
- Thoughtful when they talk with others
- Effectively communicate thoughts
- Don’t interrupt others when they speak
- Speak clearly and confidently
- Use differing tones when speaking
However, one area where verbal communicators can improve is to hone their non-verbal communications. Implementing powerful techniques like tone of voice and body language can give you a more well-rounded and powerful communication style.
We recommend the e-course “Verbal Communicator To Powerful Speaker” to help you bolster your nonverbal communication skills!
2. Non-Verbal Communications
Non-verbal communication is the way we communicate without using words. Our posture, hands, and eyes can’t speak, they are actually saying more than you think.
In business, our non-verbal communication speaks volumes. People around us pick up on the way we carry ourselves and translates those suggestions into levels of energy, interest, and respect.
Many cultures perceive non-verbal communications differently. While making a gesture with your foot to point to something on the floor may seem trivial in America, the exact same gesture in Thailand is considered extremely rude.
So much can be said without saying a single word. Non-verbal communication traits include:
- Having good eye contact when listening or speaking
- Using intention and gestures to accentuate a point
- Using facial expressions to convey a message
- Being aware of space
Non-verbal communications is a powerful element for communicating effectively. Without speaking a word you can express your exact thoughts and emotions. The cartoon character, WALL-E never spoke a word in the movie, but we all knew exactly how he was feeling based on his non-verbal communications.
If non-verbal communication is your strong suit, one area that you can improve upon is the verbal side of communications. Focus on your choice of words and being more concise. By marrying words with your innate non-verbal strength, you are on the way to becoming the most powerful speaker.
We recommend the e-course “Non-Verbal Communicator To Powerful Speaker” to help you hone your verbal communication skills!
3. Visual Communications
Visual communications refer to messages that can be seen and enhanced through imagery. Whenever a heavy amount of information is presented, a visual aid can help those listening comprehend the message. If you scored visual communications, chances are you know this already!
Colors, shapes, and textures are all parts of visual communications. In fact, visual communications can evoke powerful emotions.
Visual Communication traits include:
- The ability to take an idea and create an image that conveys the idea
- Creates visually interesting messages that evoke emotion
- Understands the power of images
- Uses images to create information that is memorable.
Visual Communications is around us already. This includes logos, billboards, advertisements, PowerPoint designs. All these leverage visual communications to convey their messages.
We all know the Nike swoop and just that one image communicates their brand, sports, athleticism, and so much more!
If your strength is visual communications you are probably drawn to mediums that excel in visuals. You may also enjoy creating visuals to enhance what you or others are saying. That means bolstering your non-verbal and verbal communication skills will where you’d want to improve next. One easy way to practice is in front of a mirror. Watch yourself speak and pay attention to what you do with your hands and how your tone of voice sounds.
We recommend the e-course “Visual Communicator To Powerful Speaker” to help you hone your verbal communication skills!
4. Written Communications
Can you recall stories that you’ve read, tag lines that stick, or emails that you’ve read over and over again? The power of written communications has transcended history and platforms. In fact, you reading this is written communications at work!
Some people assume that being a strong verbal communicator is the most important type of communication style for business, but that isn’t always the case. Being able to clearly convey your message in a written medium, like in an email or in a memo is just as important.
In fact, when delivering a large amount of important information, it might be best to go with a written communications channel. Writing things down can be a powerful way to help clarify a message. It can even help with processing so it’s conveyed more concisely.
Written Communications traits include:
- Thoughtful about word choice for clarity
- Able to get the point across quickly and efficiently
- Excellent at grammar and punctuation
- Able to convey tone and emotion effortlessly
Written communications is an important trait to being a well-rounded communicator. Email, social media copy, text messages, and so much more are all written communications. In a digital world, it’s even more important to be a clear written communicator. (We’ve all been on the receiving end of an email or text that wasn’t written clearly!).
If written communications are your strong suit, one area that you can improve upon is, of course, the spoken words. Use your written communication strength to choose the right words to say, and practice speaking them out loud and in front of an audience.
We recommend the e-course “Written Communicator To Powerful Speaker” to help you hone your verbal communication skills!
Your communication style is unique to you. However, to know where you can begin improving, you’ll first want to discover your style. From there, you will have better insight on where and how you can best communicate. Because the key to being an excellent communicator is being a well-rounded one!
Take our communications quiz and unlock our FREE resource (only for communication quiz participants!)