Blue Collar Press. Amazing Products. Everytime.

Two weeks ago I wrote on how relationships are the key to any successful marketing or evangelism campaign. In my experience I have found that one of the greatest tools in building relationships is emotional intelligence.

How many of us have had arguments simply through a misunderstanding of message? I constantly find myself saying,”if only he knew what I was intending to say.” Or, “if she could only be more receptive to what I’m saying, she wouldn’t be upset.”

Many of these stressful and painful situations can be improved through the art of emotional intelligence.

One of the greatest tools in building #relationships is emotional #intelligence. Click To Tweet

Emotional intelligence is having the self awareness to know how you communicate, the ability to recognize how others communicate, and finally the ability to adapt to a communication style to ensure a clean transmission of the desired message. I like to think of it as the lost radical notion of building relationships with people.

This concept has exploded in the study of management at business schools over the last 25 years and was a focal point in my studies at the University of Kansas. More importantly though it’s a tool that can transform all of your relationships, not just those in workplace.

As you interact with others in your daily life, it is important to develop your relationships so you can honor God by meeting people’s urgent needs.  Plus, it will certainly help you in business as you seek to impact your city through it.

I wish to provide some information to plant the idea in your mind, but recommend further reading to hone this skill.

The Four Communication Styles for Relationships

Relationships entrepreneurs Four Communication StylesThe four communication styles lie on a four dimensional grid. The X-axis measures the level of directness and indirectness. The Y-Axis measure the level of openness or being reserved.

Starting with the upper Right quadrant and working clockwise, I want to introduce each style with the hope you begin to see them in yourself and others.

Directive (Direct and Task Oriented)

I am a directive. Directives focus on the main point and not on the secondary information. As a retail professional, customers that exhibit this style are the ones who approach me and all they need to know is the location and price of the product they want.

Managers with this style may find it easy to express their wishes and assignments for the team and set a simple clear path. The problem with directives is sometimes we don’t realize that others may not be receptive to our level of directness or honesty. I encourage directives to step back and observe how others react to your communication.

Expressive (Direct and People Oriented)

Amiables are socializers. They draw their energy from being with others, sharing, and collaborating together. As opposed to directives they will try to preserve group unity over achieving a task. Like the name expressives suggests people who prefer this style will tend to share and be open about their interests and passions.

Many expressives I knew in business school gravitated toward marketing, sales, and human resources. Expressives may struggle in positions and environments that require individual work or ones in which they don’t have to ability to share.

Develop your #relationships so you can honor #God by meeting people's urgent needs. Click To Tweet

Managers need to practice patience and make sure expressives have outlets to share. I worked with an expressive in recruiting members from my fraternity. He could share his passion and form deep connections in a ten minute conversation with a complete stranger. As a directive I helped to hold him accountable in tasks and he helped me start to break my shyness.

Amiable (Indirect and People Oriented)

relationships entrepreneurs friends in the grassAmiables are social preserves. They take draw their energy from the group, but unlike expressives amiables, more than likely won’t be the drivers or leaders of it.

Like analyticals, as well, amiables like to take time. In relationship building, amiables prefer stories and examples illustrating common ground. Their friendships tend to be deep, and their loyalty runs through and through.  

The key for non-amiables is to allow opportunities for amiables to respond. I often drown people in my passion. Maybe you have experienced this or committed it yourself.

During my summer internship with adidas I loved talking to people about the company’s values and history, but often times I didn’t take time to listen. I realize now I may have prevented some great conversations by not allowing others the chance to speak, especially the amiables I spoke with.

Analytical (Indirect and Task Oriented)

drafting 2As the name suggest people using analytical communication style love facts and numbers. This doesn’t mean they are introverts, but that data really fuels their passion.

In many of my project groups there often was one person, who would volunteer to do research and number crunching, but would refuse to present. For some the fear of public speaking cannot be overcome.

As a leader in my fraternity I did my best never to put these people in too big of a spotlight or ask them to speak to the large groups. Analyticals may also find it difficult to deal with directives that move too quickly. In their mind moving too rapidly may be equivalent to ignoring an important fact or important step in the process.

Where do I fit?

I know what your thinking. I fit into all of these, I don’t fit at all, or how can you put everyone into four quadrants

First, we all have characteristics of each of these styles that we like and use. The spectrum is dynamic not static. If you are not sure which of these styles you may use I recommend this website. It is a free assessment that offers a more in-depth look.

Finally, this is a tool that has helped me in learning different cultures, groups, individuals, and myself. It can only be used as a guide and by no means defines a person or dictates their actions.


Back Home | Back to Leadership | Back to Entrepreneurs & Professionals