Think Business Thursday: Identify Your Communication Style

Happy Think Business Thursday!

Communication: the small business tool you MUST use to your advantage!

As a small business owner, effective communication is key to your company’s success – whether it’s communicating with your employees, your partners, investors, or customers, knowing how to become a more skilled communicator will increase your company’s value and its place in the market. Let’s look at the different forms of communicators as identified by Professor Mary Shapiro, Simmons School of Management. According to her research there are four general types of communicators:

1) Connector:
  • prefer working with people and teams
  • prefer a collaborative, friendly, space
  • prefer verbal communication; one:one; gather all perspectives
  • make decisions by consensus
  • look at decision’s impact on people
  • prefer incremental change
  • appreciate others who are diplomatic, accommodating, willing to compromise
  • prioritize people over the task
  • enjoy solving people’s problems and conflicts
2) Seeker
  • prefer leading people in new ventures
  • prefer an energetic, multi-focused, fun and fluid environment
  • prefer verbal communication in groups; -look at the big picture and see the “forest not the trees”
  • make decisions based on intuition, spontaneously
  • look at the impact on reputation as innovator and change agent
  • prefer sweeping innovative change
  • appreciate others who are risk takers, –prioritize action over people and details
  • enjoy taking the initiative, taking lead
3) Driver
  • prefer leading people towards task end
  • prefer efficient, fast-paced work
  • prefer written communication that is concise; emails are brief, in bullet format
  • look at top level detail and data
  • make decisions based on data, quickly, unilaterally; besting past or competition
  • look at the impact on bottom line
  • prefer whatever change is necessary
  • appreciate task completion on time, on budget, according to specifications
  • prioritize the task over people
  • enjoy being in charge
4) Planner
  • prefer working independently on tasks -prefer an orderly, work environment with metrics of success
  • prefer written communication; emails tend to be dense with attachments
  • look at details, data
  • make decisions based on analysis
  • look at the impact on how work is done, error free work process
  • prefer incremental change with complete plans and contingency plans; -appreciate accuracy, thoroughness, punctuality, compliance with plans
  • prioritize task over people

As we discussed in last Strategy Saturday’s email, the fundamental purpose of small business marketing is: communication. Whether we are communicating our value to our customers, communicating our capacity to contractors, or communicating our numbers to our investors, we are marketing our strengths to these different groups. The best way to get your marketing message across is to ensure you are communicating with the target audience in their communication style. This is great when working with people 1:1, but what about when you are targeting larger groups?

How to communicate your message to large groups: include a mix of all communication styles! I have designed the following diagram to help you structure your marketing message.

The business takeaway here is that, as a small business owner, if you want to get your message across, whether it is marketing or not, it’s always a great idea to know how best to structure your message to the target listener(s). If it is a larger audience, put something in your message for each category of communicator. Use the pyramid above to structure your message with the top points for the Driver and the bottom details for the Planner.

 What type of communicator are you? Hit reply, and let me know. If you would like help with your communication, marketing or business strategy, check out the ways I work with my clients here:

Cheers to you and your business!


Scroll to Top