Whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, we interact with a lot of individuals who each have a different way of seeing the world. That can mean navigating around quite a few varying personality types. Wish you had a map?  Maybe this can help you identify what kind of a communicator you are.

Last week Jibe’s account service team had the opportunity to go to Colorado for an account management seminar.  Any ideas what one of the major topics of the seminar was?  Yep, you guessed it: communication.   No advertising agency can survive without good, solid communication.

As a part of the seminar, we each took a communication style test.  Now, before you personality testing naysayers stop reading, understand that I am largely opposed to the stereotyping that can emerge from a personality test and was skeptical myself. And while it is true that no one fits neatly into one little box, I found this particular test extremely revealing and useful.  The results placed communication styles in four main categories:

Intuitors – These are your ideas people – creative thinkers that can see the big picture.  They love new ideas and innovative thinking.  They can often be idealistic, sometimes to a fault.  A good dose of realism can be helpful in bringing an intuitor back to what is possible, but their out-of-the-box thinking can open doors that would remain closed to a more logical thinker. You can lose an intuitor in a conversation if you focus too much on minute details.  Take a step back and paint a picture they can appreciate, and you’ll both be on the same page.

Thinkers – Anyone consumed by the facts?  Yes?  Well, you may be a thinker.  Thinkers are interested in the background information – they want to have the whole picture. They can be annoyingly systematic and logical.  But, don’t think they don’t have their strengths.  They are excellent mediators in arguments and can be extremely objective.  They tend to want to do things right and have things in order.  Be careful not to get stuck in a pattern of indecision as a thinker – just keeping things rolling around in your head doesn’t usually get things done. When communicating with thinkers, keeping a linear mindset is important.  They like agendas and bullet-pointed PowerPoint presentations.

Feelers – It’s not hard to guess that feelers tend to be more empathetic; therefore, they are excellent at connecting with people.  They love relationships and can dispense with formality easily.  Their spontaneity can get them into trouble, as they sometimes act from emotions.  But, if you need a good team worker, a feeler is your best choice.  They tend to be expressive, and when communicating, want to connect with the person, not the title.

Sensors – These are your multi-tasking go-getters.  They aren’t just talk; they are action-oriented and to-the-point.  If you are a waffler, just team up with a sensor and they’ll be decisive enough for the both of you.  When communicating with sensors, keep in mind that they are interested in results. Thinkers can be helpful teammates for a sensor as they often act before thinking, sometimes to their detriment.  If you find yourself interacting with a sensor, plan on picking up your pace.  Don’t allow yourself to get left behind because they aren’t slowing down for anyone.

Before you throw all value of this test out the window, with a flippant claim that it is merely a glorified horoscope in disguise, try a sample test for yourself.

Understanding the way someone operates and why can make a world of difference.  It can improve relationships, increase efficiency in the workplace and help you avoid possible personality roadblocks.

So, get behind the wheel of communication and drive a little more confident.  Just be sure not to get too comfortable. There are other drivers on the road and no one is completely predictable.