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Tim Boutle

Are you using this essential communication tool?

… and no, I’m not talking about tin cans and a piece of string!

As an SME grows the ability to communicate effectively across the organisation becomes harder. Whether within or between departments communications must be optimised for organisations to execute at their peak and the key is to recognise each employee’s preferred style of information exchange.

Modern personality assessment models are very good indicators of a person’s preferred communication style. When managers don’t recognise those inherent differences, misunderstandings often ensue and lead to project delays or worse, conflict. Acknowledging those differences, and working within their parameters, significantly improves the communication flow.

The assessment tool I use with clients and one of the most respected identifies four core personality styles. Recognising a person’s predominant style provides exceptional insight into their communication preferences. Here are the basic characteristics of each category:


Employees with personalities that fit into the Dominance category tend to be driven, demanding, aggressive, innovative, and competitive. These people are typically goal-oriented and relish personal challenges.


A common job title for those who rate high in Influence are sales and customer service representatives. These employees are charismatic, inspiring, optimistic, and personable. These are very social people who have a need to verbalise.


This style will most likely be found among the company’s trainers, marketing staff, and administrative assistants. They are adaptable, systematic, patient, predictable, and consistent. They are also needs driven – both theirs and those of the people they help.


People with a core style that is Conscientious are often working as accountants or engineers. They follow rules and are very meticulous and quality-conscious, often to the point of being perfectionists.

By keeping these four styles in mind, managers will be able to offer information that the employee can more readily absorb, thus making communications more effective and productive.

In my experience this essential management tool is massively underutilised and is equally powerful when used in sales (to understand what makes individual clients tick), and recruitment (to ensure you are taking on the right person for the job).

If the above article resonates check out my Personality profiling page.