Effective Communication With Different Personality Types

Communication surrounds everyone, every day in various forms. From saying good morning to your spouse to observing a billboard on your way to work or a thumbs up from your boss, communication is what makes the world continue to progress and change. Effective communication must accurately portray the intended message with both verbal and nonverbal communication. If a person accurately communicates his message, but the listener doesn’t understand it's possible he did not use an effective communication approach for that individual’s personality type.

Task-oriented People

Keep the verbal communication short when communicating with a person who has a task-oriented personality. A task-oriented person will want to know the point, what he or she has to do and how to do it. Do not over explain or give too much detail to this person, as you can confuse and overwhelm him with too much information. Give a task-oriented person a sheet of paper that he read over or refer back to as he goes through instructions, for example. This nonverbal communication will enable him to follow pointed steps at his own pace. As information is needed, it is given. Keep your verbal explanation short but provide a detailed explanation through a nonverbal medium.

Detail-oriented People

Give a lot of detail verbally and nonverbally to a person who is detail-oriented. A person who pays a lot of attention to detail will find security in knowing every step of the way what the expectations are. Sit down with a person who is detail-oriented and spend time verbally going over every task, expectation and purpose. Allow for questions between each instruction because detail-oriented personality types will typically ask a lot of questions to ensure they accurately understand what is being communicated. Provide a written sheet for the individual to reference and review as she completes the task at hand. After you have explained a specific task, allow time for clarity and questions.

Creative People

Be creative with personalities that are outgoing, exuberant and innovative. Outgoing and creative personalities have a difficult time doing bland tasks whether they are verbally or nonverbally communicated. Use a lot of examples, demonstrations and visual aids to effectively communicate with creative personalities. Think of games to play that can illustrate the point. A creative mind will remember information by association. For example, if you’re talking about Christopher Columbus, a creative mind will retain the information if he is required to create a skit to illustrate the main points of his Columbus’s life. Break creative-minded people up into small focus groups and allow them to express thoughts, feelings and ideas. This will encourage the desire to retain the information by giving them ownership over it.