The Personal Communicator asks, “Who?” and wants to make sure everyone understands their roles in a project.
In this series exploring communication styles in the workplace, we’ve discussed preferences and habits for Allison the Analytical Communicator, Ingrid the Intuitive Communicator and Frank the Functional Communicator.
Today, we meet the ever popular Pierce, the Personal Communicator, who is an expert with interpersonal relationships and loves working with large groups.
Meet Pierce, the Personal Communicator
Pierce, the Personal Communicator, is the people person. He appreciates the collaboration process to inspire new ideas and get everyone’s feedback.
Pierce is easily approachable, he listens closely and is very diplomatic. Because he seeks to know “Who?”, Pierce works best in groups, using interactive approaches to create a strong sense of togetherness and bringing everyone together on a project.
Pierce makes a lot of effort to stop at people’s desks to see how they’re doing and what he can do to help. Introducing new people and creating new connections, Pierce loves finding ways that can benefit everyone. His social media feeds have hundreds of followers, likes and shares, and he always cheerfully answers questions.
Best tools for the Personal Communicator:
- Email –
- Email threads organized by conversations
- Meeting invites that show a list of attendees
- Shared calendar views
- List with each person’s responsibilities
- Face-to-Face, Telephone or Instant Chat – Group chat or video conference with Q&A and break-out discussion sessions
- Supporting Documents –
- Group file-sharing platform that shows groups and stores files with comments
- Copy of conversation threads
- Video and/or audio recordings of meetings
Listen for these questions:
Who is in charge?
Who should I include in the meeting?
Who would like to volunteer?
Do you know the answer or someone who does?
Have you talked to Ingrid yet?
Tips for working with an Personal Communicator:
Personal Communicators thrive on socializing and digging out pain points. It’s important that you attend any meeting they organize, even if you can only stay the first ten minutes. Just catching their attention will confirm your interest, and makes it easy for the Personal Communicator to follow up if they notice you missing at any point.
Any discussion or work done in a collaborative space is most effective for the Personal Communicator. Approach them personally about ideas and challenges, and they will eagerly seek out solutions with you.
Bring it all together
Understanding each communication style can help explain why Frank, the Functional Communicator, gets annoyed when Pierce insists the whole team get together to talk about how everyone feels about the project.
You may choose to pair Allison, the Analytical Communicator, and Ingrid, the Intuitive Communicator, because their approaches complement one another to illuminate tasks, challenges and solutions more clearly. Allison’s strengths can keep Ingrid on track, and Ingrid’s large-scale, abstract vision can help keep Allison from getting buried in too many details.
Working as a group, Pierce and Ingrid may appear to create ambiguous plans that seem to materialize out of nowhere that, to Allison and Frank, have no clear evidence or steps to achieve the end goal. This combination could potentially lead to conflict, where Pierce and Ingrid feel that Allison and Frank are apathetic and always seem to negatively challenge the project, while Allison and Frank feel like Pierce and Ingrid are stuck in a dream world with no real actionable items. Stay diligent to answer all the questions of What?, Why?, How? and Who?, supported with open Q&A sessions, will help bridge gaps that may otherwise lead to frustration and breakdowns.
Pick tools that support a blend of styles
To achieve the best communication, of course, all depends on each individual. These styles are not exclusive to the others, and most people are a blend of 2 or 3 types.
What this means for collaboration is setting clear expectations for sharing information and being attentive to each person involved in a project.
Think about it as, “Tell them what you’re going to say. Then, tell them. And finally, tell them again what you said.”
So instead of relying primarily on one tool, e.g. email or face-to-face meetings, be sure to distribute information across the platforms on which each team member relies. For example, support IM chats and in-person meetings with email summaries and meeting notes; follow up an email by stopping by team members’ desks to find out if they still have questions; store documentation on a platform where everything is easily accessible for everyone, but not so easily erased or modified; and check in with each individual and again as a group.
With awareness of each style’s preferences, each communicator can adapt their style to fit others by taking on and practicing those different qualities. Try this – before a meeting, list every person who will be there and jot down what type of information they will expect to receive. Anticipate their questions and present information in a way that is valuable to each person’s sensibilities – analytical, intuitive, functional or personal.
Collaboration is a never-ending learning opportunity
Want to know how your communication style? Take a quiz to find out how people on your teams communicate and respond to others. Don’t expect everyone to clearly fit into one single style. Try adopting different perspectives by listening more closely and asking specific questions. When a team keeps open dialogue with each person, everyone has a voice and obstacles are significantly less frustrating. If you continue to work at communicating, then it becomes easier to stay focused when collaborating goals or solving last-minute problems before launching your project.
Learn more about what tools we recommend for workplace collaboration and sign up for a free demo using the most advanced tools for your network.