Activity – Communication Style self-assessment

What's Your Style?

Consider each of the following questions separately and circle the one letter (a, b, c, or d) that corresponds to the description that best fits you. If you have trouble selecting only one answer, ask yourself which response, at work, would be the most natural or likely for you to make.

After scoring your responses, you will notice you are not just one style, and neither is anyone else so you have to adjust your communication accordingly. It is important not to label someone because we are all different and complex so no one fits into a box. This tool, as with other tools, is meant to be a guide and to give you ideas but the best learning is through trial, error, reflection and trying again.

Self- evaluation questionnaire

There are no right answers to these questions, so base your response on how you are today, not how you think you should be or would like to be in the future.

1.         When talking to a customer or co-worker ...

  1. I maintain eye contact the whole
  2. I alternate between looking at the person and looking
  3. I look around the room a good deal of the
  4. I try to maintain eye contact but look away from time to

2.         If I have an important decision to make ...

  1. I think it through completely before
  2. I go with my gut
  3. I consider the impact it will have on other people before
  4. I run it by someone whose opinion I respect before

3.         My office or work area mostly has ...

  1. Family photos and sentimental items
  2. Inspirational posters, awards, and art
  3. Graphs and charts
  4. Calendars and project outlines

4.         If I am having a conflict with a co-worker or customer ...

  1. I try to help the situation along by focusing on the
  2. I stay calm and try to understand the cause of the
  3. I try to avoid discussing the issue causing the
  4. I confront it right away so that it can get resolved as soon as

5.         When I talk on the phone at work ...

  1. I keep the conversation focused on the purpose of the
  2. I spend a few minutes chatting before getting down to
  3. I am in no hurry to get off the phone and don't mind chatting about personal things, the weather, and so on.
  4. I try to keep the conversation as brief as

6.         If a co-worker is upset ...

  1. I ask if I can do anything to
  2. I leave him alone because I don't want to intrude on his
  3. I try to cheer him up and help him to see the bright
  4. I feel uncomfortable and hope he gets over it

7.         When I attend meetings at work ...

  1. I sit back and think about what is being said before offering my
  2. I put all my cards on the table so my opinion is well
  3. I express my opinion enthusiastically, but listen to other's ideas as
  4. I try to support the ideas of the other people in the

8.         When I make a presentation in front of a group ...

  1. I am entertaining and often
  2. I am clear and
  3. I speak relatively
  4. I am direct, specific, and sometimes

9.         When a customer is explaining a problem to me ...

  1. I try to understand and empathize with how she is
  2. I look for the specific facts pertaining to the
  3. I listen carefully for the main issue so that I can find a
  4. I use my body language and tone of voice to show her that I

10.     When I attend training programs or presentations ...

  1. I get bored if the person moves too
  2. I try to be supportive of the speaker, knowing how hard the job
  3. I want it to be entertaining as well as
  4. I look for the logic behind what the speaker is

11.     When I want to get my point across to customers or co-workers ...

  1. I listen to their point of view first and then express my ideas
  2. I strongly state my opinion so that they know where I
  3. I try to persuade them without being too
  4. I explain the thinking and logic behind what I am

12.     When I am late for a meeting or appointment ...

  1. I don't panic but call ahead to say that I will be a few minutes
  2. I feel bad about keeping the other person
  3. I get very upset and rush to get there as soon as
  4. I apologize profusely once I

13.     I set goals and objectives at work that ...

  1. I think I can realistically
  2. I feel are challenging and would be exciting to
  3. I need to achieve as part of a bigger
  4. Will make me feel good when I achieve

14.      When explaining a problem to a co-worker whom I need help from ...

  1. I explain the problem in as much detail as
  2. I sometimes exaggerate to make my
  1. I try to explain how the problem makes me
  2. I explain how I would like the problem to be

15.     If customers or co-Workers are late for a meeting with me in my office ...

  1. I keep myself busy by making phone calls or working until they
  2. I assume they were delayed a bit and don't get
  3. I call to make sure that I have the correct information (date, time, and so on).
  4. I get upset that the person is wasting my

16.      When I am behind on a project and feel pressure to get it done ...

  1. I make a list of everything I need to do, in what order, by
  2. I block out everything else and focus 100 percent on the work I need to
  3. I become anxious and have a hard time focusing on my
  4. I set a date to get the project done by and go for

17.      When I feel verbally attacked by a customer or a co-worker ...

  1. I tell her to stop
  2. I feel hurt but usually don't say anything about it to
  3. I ignore her anger and try to focus on the facts of the
  4. I let her know in strong terms that 1 don't like her

18.      When I see a co-worker or customer whom I like and haven't seen recently ...

  1. I give him a friendly
  2. I greet him but don't shake his
  3. I give him a firm but quick
  4. I give him an enthusiastic handshake that lasts a few

Scoring the questionnaire

Once you have finished the questionnaire, review the following scoring sheet (shown on the next page). You will be scoring yourself on four specific working styles. They are:

  • Driver (DR)
  • Expressive (EX)
  • Amiable (AM)
  • Analytical (A)

Transfer your answers from the questionnaire to the scoring sheet and then count up the number of times you circled each style. Enter these scores at the bottom of the scoring sheet. The style where you scored the most points is your primary working style.

The four terms (Driver, Expressive, Amiable, and Analytical) were originally coined by Dr. David Merrill, founder of Tracom Consulting Group. If you are interested in reading more about the research done by Dr. Merrill and his associates, read Personal Styles and Effective Performance: Make your Style Work for You by Dr. David Merrill and Roger Reid (Radnor, PA.: Chilton, 1981

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