What is Your Primary Communication Style? Part 2

Last week we discussed the four predominant communication styles that are identified based on the combination of two different dimensions of behavior: Direct versus Indirect and Support versus Controlling (Alessandra & Hunsaker, 1993).

Now that you have determined which combination of the two dimensions applies to you, we can take a look at the traits of the different styles (Alessandra & Hunsaker, 1993):

Relater (Supporting/Indirect)

  • Struggles with goal setting
  • Dislikes conflict
  • Good at active listening
  • Enjoys personal relationships

Socializer (Supporting/Direct)

  • Spontaneous
  • Thinks emotionally
  • Likes to be involved
  • Tends to be a dreamer

Thinker (Controlling/Indirect)

  • Prefers structure and organization
  • Good problem solver
  • Logical and process/task-oriented
  • Asks questions

Director (Controlling/Direct)

  • Likes to be in control
  • Enjoys freedom
  • Low tolerance for others’ feelings
  • Prefers action to inaction

How do you feel about the traits of your communication style? Do you believe they are accurate for you? Can you identify the communication styles of others in your life?

Understanding and being able to identify your communication style as well as the style of others can help with effective communication both personally and professionally.



Alessandra, T. and Hunsaker, P. (1993). Communicating At Work. New York: Fireside Books.

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