What is Your Primary Communication Style?

Four predominant communication styles have been identified (Alessandra & Hunsaker, 1993). These four styles are based on two dimensions of behavior: Direct versus Indirect and Support versus Controlling (Alessandra & Hunsaker, 1993). Do you know what your communication style is?

Direct versus Indirect describes observable behavior. Those who are direct talk, express opinions, have faster and louder speech and are generally impatient, while those who are indirect listen, are more reserved with slower, quieter speech and are more patient (Alessandra & Hunsaker, 1993).

The second dimension describes the why aspect of communication, namely people-oriented versus task oriented communication. Supporting (people-oriented) communicators share feelings, use informal speech, are contact oriented and have active facial expressions, while controlling (task-oriented) communicators offer less sharing of their feelings, have more formal speech, prefer no contact, and use few facial expressions (Alessandra & Hunsaker, 1993).

Determine whether you are Direct versus Indirect and Supporting versus Controlling. Next week we will explain the different styles that can be determined by these two different dimensions.



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


Leave a Reply