About 20 years ago we started to research how people really communicate.
We knew about the analytical way of communication; we also knew there was a non-analytical way of communicating. But we wanted more details. We designed a questionnaire, an assessment to try to pinpoint preferences.
That questionnaire, plus input from participants on our training courses, and focus groups – revealed that all of us possess the ability to communicate in three very different ways:
- Analytically – the obvious style because it helps in business to analyze and be logical
- Visually – the style that involves speed, spontaneity and sometimes imagery
- Interactively – the ability to interact, ask questions and relate to people
Our research also shows that, while you might have a preference, you need all three styles to communicate well with others.
Your preferred style might be analytical, for example. Perhaps you would rather read things and communicate one-on-one rather than in large groups.
So it’s a preference. Not right or wrong. The skill lies in being able to adapt. If you prefer to analyze your communication and you’re dealing with an audience who prefers to be spontaneous and verbal – you realize someone has to shift styles. Otherwise you may not “connect”.