Health vs. Wellness Coaching: Communication Style

As we dig deeper into the fine art of communication with our clients/patients, it is important to be able to identify the four primary communication styles. Direct versus indirect and supporting versus controlling can be put together in four distinct styles that can tell you a lot about a person, how they communicate, and how they prefer to be communicated with. When talking with a client/patient, ask yourself if they are direct or indirect in how they engage with you. Then ask yourself if they convey a supportive position when listening.

From there, you can identify them as one of the four types:

Supporting/Indirect (Relater)

  • Likes personal relationships
  • Dislikes conflict
  • Actively listens
  • Weak at goal setting

Supporting/Direct (Socializer)

  • Spontaneous actions/decisions
  • Likes being involved
  • Thinks emotionally
  • Tends to dream
  • Jumps from one activity to another

Controlling/Indirect (Thinker)

  • Likes organization/structure
  • Asks questions
  • Needs to understand the process
  • Prefers task-oriented work
  • Good problem-solving skills

Controlling/Direct (Director)

  • Likes to be in control
  • Dislikes inaction
  • Low tolerance for the feelings of others
  • Decisive actions
  • Likes freedom

Once you have identified their type, you can alter your verbiage and your approach to fit their specific needs!


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