When we communicate with styles different than our own, it can sometimes feel we are speaking a foreign language. Or they are.

My last post explained what communication styles are and specifically drilled down on the 3 main communication styles.

Today we are going to look at how to best communicate – for your benefit and theirs – with those who have a different communication style than our own.


Communicating with The Talker

If you are communicating with a Talker, the best way to communicate is to listen and give them your attention with body language that affirms you are truly listening. Most likely they will tell stories, give examples, and use multiple ways to make the same point because, to a Talker, various expressions are needed for them to feel they are communicating.


Communicating with The Thinker

The best way to communicate with a Thinker is to let them know you have something you want to talk to them about. Let them know what you want to talk about. Set a specific time to talk and give them the information they may need to process before you meet in order to get their best thoughts and input. They will appreciate it and so will you when you see the benefits of a Thinker’s well thought out ideas.


Communicating with The Doer

Doers appreciate communication that spurs action. When you are talking to a Doer, be sure you let them know what you want to do, or even better what you want them to do. Doers don’t sit still long. They communicate by doing, so lengthy conversations can get them agitated. They can feel they are wasting time. If a Doer is tapping a pencil on the table, clicking a pen, or drumming their fingers, know that in order to listen well Doers must be doing something.
Expecting a Doer not to fidget is like expecting a fish not to swim.


A few extra tips:

For a Talker, you may want to let them know you really want to hear what they have to say and have “X” amount of time to be all ears. That way you can fully give them your attention in a timeframe that works.

For a Thinker, you may want to let them know you want to hear their thoughts, but if they need more time to think about it you understand and will gladly wait for them to get back to you. (If a deadline is needed, let them know that upfront.)

For a Doer, you may want to let them know you understand action is needed and will try to keep the conversation short and to the point.

Bottom line is that when people see you trying to communicate in ways that respect who they are, it builds trust. Respect builds trust. And when people trust you, there is more opportunity to make a difference, have a bigger impact, and build a more solid relationship.

LOUD is not a language. RESPECT is.


Brenda Harkins is a believer in impossible possibilities. In brokenness becoming beautiful. In justice and mercy and honor and power – with love perfecting them all. As a Speaker, Author, Mediator, and Professional Coach, Brenda is highly focused on the power of communication. Her confidence, clarity, and courage to transform challenges into victories were the catalyst for creating Loud Is Not A Language®, a communication model that is actually a challenge to transform you. Become more you. Building strong, resilient, respectful relationships at the same time.