Communication Styles : Back to School Part 2

Yesterday we talked about Evidence-Based Health Coaching overall, as a way of introducing this Back to School series! Today, we are digging into the good stuff and talking about Communication Styles.

Communication is the key to so many things in life! With Health Coaching it is no different; in fact, it may be even more important than with many other things. How hard is it to diagnose a patient if he or she cannot communicate? Much harder than if he or she can tell you where it hurts, right? Well, learning to identify your communication style and potentially learning to identify the communication style of others can increase your communication effectiveness exponentially!

According to the National Society of Health Coaches program manual, the basic way to identify your communication style is to ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Am I “direct” or “indirect” in my communication when engaging another?
  2. Do I convey a “supportive” position when listening to another person?

Once you have answered these two questions, you will have a good idea of what your style is!

Here’s how the four types breakdown:

  • Relater (Supporting / Indirect)
    • Likes personal relationships
    • Dislikes interpersonal conflict
    • Actively listens
    • Weak at goal setting
  • Socializer (Supporting / Direct)
    • Spontaneous actions/decisions
    • Likes being involved
    • Thinks emotionally
    • Tends to dream
    • Jumps from one activity to another
  • Thinker (Controlling / Indirect)
    • Likes organization/structure
    • Asks questions about specifics
    • Needs to understand process
    • Prefers task-oriented work
    • Good problem-solving skills
  • Director (Controlling / Direct)
    • Likes to be in control
    • Dislikes inaction
    • Low tolerance for feelings of others
    • Decisive actions
    • Likes freedom

Now that you can see how they break down, can you use the descriptions and the previous questions to try and identify the types of people you know? The more you practice, the better you will become at identifying these styles on your own! That way, you can identify how your patient communications and how you can adapt your communication style to make your relationship more effective.

Want another resource?!

Here is the National Society of Health Coaches Communication Style Self-Assessment! This breaks things down even farther so you can make sure you are identifying yourself and hopefully others correctly! Click the link and take a look!

NSHC Self-Assessment

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