How to Balance Workplace Styles – Functional Communicator

The Functional Communicator asks, “How?” and needs to identify all possible action items before getting started.

In our series discussing communication styles, we’ve introduced Allison, the Analytical Communicator, and Ingrid, the Intuitive Communicator. Today, we’re discussing the no-fluff-required Functional Communicator, Frank.

Meet Frank, the Functional Communicator

Functional Communicator Frank
Frank is all about process and plan without extra discussion or trivia.

By carefully measuring the steps in a strategy, Frank’s making sure the plan is carefully thought-out and avoids too many risks for failure. The actual process is more important than endless discussions around philosophy or feelings, and Frank prefers to take a systematic approach to completing projects.

This may sound a lot like Allison, the Analytical Communicator, and both Frank and Allison enjoy very specific conversations that, to others, may seem like very dry, boring recounting of facts. Don’t discount these dependable facts, though, because Frank and Allison both create highly successful project plans and reports, especially when they work together. With Frank’s diligent attention to detail, Allison comes in to analyze relationships among key factors.

Ingrid, the Intuitive Communicator and Frank, on the other hand, have to work at understanding each other. Ingrid sometimes generalizes facts when supporting her reasoning for decisions, while Frank tunes out when presentations integrate poems to illustrate abstract ideas. Frank just wants to get back to work.

Best tools for the Functional Communicator

  • Email – Integrate email with a no-thrills task manager and calendar tools
  • Face-to-Face, Telephone or Instant Chat –
    • Thorough Q&A session to confirm specifics
    • Regular stand-up meetings or video conferences to share tasks, information and ideas
  • Supporting Documents – PowerPoint or PDF slide decks with:
    • Pertinent facts and statistics
    • Analytics reports
    • Notes for execution

Listen for these questions:

How will that solution go with this idea?
How do you see it working in the end?
How do you want me to proceed?
How would you like that to happen?
How will it get there if we do this here?
Does it matter how we do it?

Tips for working with a Functional Communicator 

If a task or event seems superfluous or inefficient, the Functional Communicator may become impatient and detached from the group. Discussions should be succinct, focusing primarily on concrete action items and how those steps lead to the end goal.

Let Functional Communicators double-check all the steps and calculations, thoroughly, so he can verify everything is in place. When given the chance, he likes playing devil’s advocate to try and weasel out any hidden weaknesses before a project moves forward. If you embrace these qualities, Functional Communicators can be quite convincing with accurate details, and the final outcome reveals his technical expertise. His discussion can quickly turn technical, though, so have specific questions ready can help Functional Communicators stay focused on the main task.

Are you a functional communicator?

Let us know, what are your favorite tools to use? Leave a message on our contact form. Not sure which type you are? Take a quiz to see how you measure up.

Check back for our final post where you’ll meet Pierce, the Personal Communicator. With all 4 types, we bring it all together to discuss techniques to help the whole team work seamlessly and efficiently.