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Chapter 6. Social Skills > Social Skill Builder 3: Adapt to the Communication N...

Social Skill Builder 3: Adapt to the Communication Needs of Others

The following table describes different communication styles and their strengths and potential weaknesses. Observe that people may use a combination of styles. As you read through the list, think about a person with whom you would like to improve your communication. Select the one or two styles that this person uses. Underline the words that best describe this person and check the strategies that are most likely to be successful.

STABLE
Communication Strengths Possible Communication Weaknesses
They are agreeable, cooperative, team players. Sensitive to other peoples’ feelings. Communicate well one-to-one and in small groups. May get quiet and withdrawn during conflicts. Feelings may get hurt by how you talk to them. May resist or avoid change. Their motto is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Stable Communication Strategies

Help them to feel safe and secure.

Prepare them for change with details and clear goals.

Give ongoing positive feedback.

Appreciate their skills and contributions.

Be courteous and respectful. Stay calm.

Encourage them to express their feelings.

Provide all the information they need to do their work.

THOROUGH
Communication Strengths Possible Communication Weaknesses
They are logical and analytical. Ask many questions. Organize tasks and projects to get them done well. May be critical of themselves and others. May have trouble making decisions because they get bogged down in research. Tend to avoid dealing with peoples’ feelings. Their motto is, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.”
Thorough Communication Strategies

Focus on quality results.

Reassure them that a new approach will not lower quality or standards.

Research your facts and statements before you talk to them.

Use logical reasoning and data to support your conclusions.

Explain that feelings are also important to getting quality results.

Don’t talk down to them. Recognize their expertise and analytical skills.

Never challenge their expertise.

Help them set realistic expectations so they can be efficient.

EMOTIONAL
Communication Strengths Possible Communication Weaknesses
They are friendly, talkative, outgoing and people-oriented. Persuade other people to work together and start new projects May be too concerned with feelings and not deal with business. Sometimes have trouble managing time because they’re so busy talking. Have difficulty separating work issues from personal issues. Will avoid dealing with conflict because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Their motto is, “Let’s relax and have fun.”
Emotional Communication Strategies

Help them get organized.

Appeal to their need to be accepted and liked.

Avoid personal criticism or threats.

Include them in decision-making.

Help them include facts as well as feelings in their decision-making.

Start conversations in a friendly manner.

Have a system for resolving problems and conflicts.

Be friendly.

Do not ignore them.

Provide opportunities for them to use their people skills.

PUSHER
Communication Strengths Possible Communication Weaknesses
They are fast moving. Will keep a group aimed in the right direction. See new ideas and can get things done fast. Tend to be forceful by telling people what to do. May become impatient with lots of detail and questions. Can override other peoples’ ideas and feelings. May appear unfriendly. Their motto is, “Just do it this way.”
Pusher Communication Strategies

Focus on the need for quick results.

Avoid arguing or telling them they are wrong.

Provide choices or options instead of telling them what to do.

Provide choices or options instead of telling them what to do.

Do detailed research.

Help them to consider people’s feelings and become more patient and supportive.



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