What’s Your Communication Style?

Bill Gates on Education

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson

Why communication styles matter and how to use them for your benefit

People use different styles of communication, and recognizing which style applies to you and those around you can benefit your workplace, as well as your overall business. Christopher Newport University outlines four main communication types:


Demonstrators are enthusiastic, fast-paced, animated and outgoing. They love people, prefer informal environments and can be spontaneous or even outrageous. Loud laughter, open postures and a fun-loving nature fit into the mix, as does a tendency to put themselves front and center.

Lucille Ball and Elvis Presley are prime examples.


Asserters are more oriented on tasks and ambition than people and they typically prefer a more structured and formal atmosphere than their demonstrator pals. Timeliness and efficiency are key qualities, as are strong opinions and confidence.

Here’s where you find the leader types, like Clint Eastwood and Margaret Thatcher.


Contemplators like their tasks just as much as asserters, but they go about them in a much slower and indirect manner. These thinker types are orderly, accurate, analytical, and thrive on attention to details.

Low-key and loner-like, famous contemplators include Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein.


Narrators keep a slow pace like contemplators, but they are very people-oriented. Photos of their families may grace their desks and they put a strong value on relationships over tasks or goals.

Open-minded and helpful, narrator types you know include Mr. Rogers, Mary Tyler Moore and Florence Nightingale.

How to improve communication

Recognizing communication styles can enhance overall communication in the workplace, resulting in increased comfort levels, work performance and the quality of your relationships. A fast-paced demonstrator, for instance, may respond best to quick, direct IMs while a thinking contemplator type may prefer a longer, more detailed email message.

Apply the same strategy to clients. Perhaps your demonstrator clients will respond well to humorous, colorful greeting cards while your narrator clients may appreciate handwritten cards with a highly personal approach.

Using an appropriately targeted communication style can be a major boost for ensuring your messages are received, understood and even enjoyed.

Click here to take the quiz and discover your own communication style.

What could you learn from knowing how you best communicate?