What's My Communication Style
A more approachable version of the DISC model for personality style
Strong communication skills are critical if your organization is going to perform at its best, particularly during challenging times. Using the What’s My Communication Style (WMComm) course you will dramatically improve communication skills for yourself and everyone in your organization. If you are familiar with the DISC-based personality style assessments, you will find the What's My Communication Style a similar but more practical and easy-to-facilitate alternative.
Available in Online and Print
Test drives and student access
Students may self-enroll in an online assessment or an online course. Self-enrollment is also a good option for trainers and consultants who wish to evaluate content for their organization or client.
About What’s My Communication Style
The What’s My Communication Style learning includes a flexible set of tools for online or in-person training. Choose from assessments, courses, and games to build a complete development plan. Starting with the statistically validated What's My Communication Style assessment, your learners will discover their communication style and the behaviors that distinguish them from their colleagues. Follow up with the virtual or in-person workshop to show learners how to speed read the communication styles of others and practice flexing their communication style for optimal results.
The HRDQ Style Model forms the basis of every product in the Style Suite. It provides a simple yet powerful framework that your learners can apply to communication, leadership, teamwork, time management, coaching, learning, and sales. With the HRDQ Style Suite you’ll affect a profound impact on performance skills in your organization.
Effective communication is the lifeblood of organizations. Employees need to work together and communicate effectively to meet goals and provide value to the organization. Yet, workplace conflict remains a constant obstacle. Often, a clash in personality is to blame, largely caused by how we deliver and misinterpret messages. Without an awareness of communication style, we become susceptible to constant conflict.
Based upon the research of Carl Jung, William Moulton Marston, and others, What's My Communication Style profoundly improves your interactions and relationships with others. Employees at all levels will gain practical and actionable insight into their everyday communications. Participants start by identifying a preference for one of four communication styles using a research-based and validated learning assessment. And a follow-on instructor-led workshop will teach participants how to speed read the styles of colleagues and learn how to flex their personal style to improve communication. An online self-study course reinforces the learning.
Need some help getting started? HRDQ offers QuickStart Train-the-Trainer sessions to help facilitators successfully launch this program in their organization. Sessions are cost effective, one-on-one training events delivered virtually or in person. This is an optional component. Facilitator certification is not required to deliver the program.
The self-assessment of the What's My Communication Style takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Individuals are presented with 24 statements and select the response that best represents the way they communicate. There are four response options to each statement, and each response measures one of the four personal communication styles: Direct, Spirited, Considerate, or Systematic. Learners are then presented with a profile detailing their dominant style and scores for each style.
The communication style assessment may be used as a standalone development tool but is best followed by the 4-hour instructor-led course where participants reflect on their results through group discussion, application activities, and development of an action plan for improving communication skills. We also provide facilitators with a one-page outline for a shorter “lunch-and-learn” style training session.
Communication style is important training for individuals at all organizational levels. It is often included in training classes for communication, leadership, team building, supervisory skills, and conflict resolution.
Additional ResourcesLearn more the HRDQ Style Suite
What's My Communication Style can be delivered as an online learning experience, in-person training event, or as a blended learning experience.
To facilitate an online learning experience, use the online assessment and digital workbook to deliver a virtual event. Use the 30-minute online learning course for self-study reinforcement of key concepts.
For an in-person event, use the print assessment and print workbook. Add experiential hands-on learning with the StylePlay card game. Use the 30-minute online learning course for self-study reinforcement of key concepts.
After any WMCS session, give each participant an HRDQue Card for a pocket-sized learning reminder, Style Stickers for learners to share their style with colleagues, and the Style Model Poster for your training and break rooms.
Need assistance putting together the right learning experience for your organization? Contact us for assistance!
Flexible Course Components
What's My Communication Style includes everything you need to facilitate a great learning event. Need more help? Contact us for train-the-trainer and onsite facilitation options.
The print facilitator guide provides instructions for leading a complete learning event including information facilitators need to familiarize themselves with any product including our What's My Communication Style. It also includes detailed instructions for administering the online or print version of the assessment, and step-by-step directions for leading a virtual or in-person workshop. Also provided are a Style Model Wall Poster, sample HRDQue Card, and sample sheet of Style Stickers. Your order confirmation includes a link to download a PowerPoint Presentation for facilitating the workshop plus PDF documents including a Learning Overview, Theory Background, Frequently Asked Questions, Certificate of Achievement template, Program Evaluation template, and sample online assessment report.
A private one-hour virtual coaching session for first-time facilitators of this product. Receive personalized, one-on-one coaching with a subject matter expert who will get you up to speed quickly and accurately so you can step into training with confidence. Additional coaching hours available as needed. Video, phone, and in-person sessions available and at a time of your choosing. Includes an HRDQ Certificate of Completion.
After completion of the online assessment, a personalized PDF report is provided to each learner. To invite learners to take the online assessment, you must have an administrator account for the HRDQ Online Assessment Center. A print version is also available with instructions for taking the assessment, the assessment statements, instructions for calculating and charting scores, and general interpretative information.
Designed as a follow up to the assessment the Workbook is intended to be used in conjunction with the Facilitator Guide for an instructor-led training experience. It allows learners to deepen their understanding of their assessment results and the HRDQ Style Model. It also includes individual and group learning activities, and a personal development plan. Available in digital and print formats. The digital version is included with purchase of the online assessment.
The Online Course of the What's My Communication Style is a 30-minute e-learning course. It contains an in-depth overview of the four communication styles and concludes with a graded quiz. It can be used in a blended-learning approach as follow-up to reinforce learning or as pre-work to allow more time for application activities and discussion. Although we believe instructor-led training will yield the best results, the e-Learning Course can also be used as a standalone self-paced learning tool.
Style Suite HRDQue Cards
A takeaway for learners, this 4" x 6" quick-reference card features the HRDQ Style Model, summarizes each communication style, and lists their characteristics.
Style Suite Stickers
A perfect way for learners to display their style. Order includes 100 stickers with 25 of each style.
Style Model Wall Poster
A visual aid for workshop participants. A 17" x 22" poster for your training center, break room, or office. Reverse side features the HRDQ Experiential Learning Model.
Research shows that each of us develops a preference for communicating in a certain manner, commonly referred to as a communication style. Understanding communication style is an important first step in learning how to communicate effectively with others. What's My Communication Style provides insight into our everyday communication with others.
This assessment is appropriate for individuals at any organizational level who want to discover more about themselves and their communication preferences, including their communication style's inherent strengths and trouble spots.
Individuals identify their preference for one of four communication styles using a 24-item assessment. The instructor-led program then helps participants understand the various forms of communication and learn how to "flex" their own personality style to improve communication.
Based on the well-researched personality theories of psychologists Carl Jung, William Moulton Marston, and others, What's My Communication Style defines communication style with four terms: Direct, Spirited, Considerate, and Systematic. The simplicity of the model makes it easy for trainers to facilitate and memorable for individuals. The result is a tool that boosts individuals' ability to improve the effectiveness of their communication in any situation.
Understanding Personality Styles
What makes people act as they do? Why does one person jump at the chance to do a public presentation, while another person avoids it? Why does one person focus on details, while another focuses on general impressions? What drives our actions has been a constant topic of debate. In the past, researchers were clearly divided into two camps: those who believed that personality style determined behavior and those who believed that the situation determined behavior. Those on the style side of the debate argued that personality traits are stable, consistent predispositions to act in a certain way (Wheeless & Lashbrook, 1987). For example, if you are outgoing, you will probably enjoy and excel in public speaking situations. Those on the situation side of the debate argued that people are inconsistent. For example, a person might be open and intimate with friends but closed and professional at work. Situational theorists believed that predictions of behavior are more accurate if based on the situation rather than on personality (Mischel, 1996).
To a certain extent, the debate over personality style versus situation was misleading. Many early studies on the subject were conducted in laboratory settings with severe constraints. Subjects in those experiments did not choose their situations and were limited in their choice of behaviors.
Snyder and Ickes (1985) offered a synthesis of those two previous views, arguing that people’s personality styles determine the situations in which they find themselves. For example, an outgoing person would be more likely than an introverted person to choose a public speaking situation. This view suggests that personality style and situation work together in determining behavior.
Even if people have no choice in the situations they encounter, they react to any situation with a limited set of behaviors (Bem, 1983). Although people’s behavior will alter as the situation changes, their set of behaviors from which to choose is not infinite, and they will display the behaviors within a behavioral set as determined by the circumstances. For example, not everyone is capable of being analytical in situations that call for analysis, but people will choose the best behavioral adjustment from among their set of possible behaviors. This set of possible behavioral reactions is a product of their personality style.
The results of another study spanning 50 years further support this view that personality traits are stable across time but also malleable to some extent as people mature and age due to genetic and environmental influences (Hopwood et al., 2012, as cited in Damian, Spengler, Sutu & Roberts, 2018).
Although debate may continue over the degree of influence personality plays in behavior, we can conclude that it is a significant component. In particular, personality style takes over when individuals have options in both their behavior and their environment.
We define personality style as the way people act when they are able to do things their own way. Does this mean that people act the same way all the time? Certainly not. Even the most boisterous individual would not be loud and jovial at a funeral. But behavior is consistent to the point that it is predictable. For example, everyone acts friendly sometimes. However, when a person acts friendly more than the average person, others start to consider friendliness part of that person's personality and expect friendly behavior from them most of the time.
"What makes people act as they do? Why does one jump at the chance to do a public presentation, while another person avoids it? Why does one person focus on facts, while another focuses on broad impressions?"
The Importance of Personality Style
Personality style affects our interactions with others (Hunsaker & Alessandra, 2008), and it is important in several aspects of organizational and personal life. People with different styles have different priorities and function at different paces. These differences can create problems if they remain under the surface. If Joe is slow and thorough and Jane is fast and decisive, their working relationship will be stressful unless they are aware of each other’s preferences. Knowledge of personality styles prevents misunderstandings and frustration.
Understanding personality style allows us to interpret the actions of others in a nonjudgmental way (Snavely, 1981). If we are aware of another person’s typical behaviors, we can take these behaviors into account when interpreting the other person’s actions. For example, if Fred is generally a friendly and outgoing person, the fact that he gives you an enthusiastic hello should not necessarily be interpreted as a sign of deep friendship. If, on the other hand, Fred is a private person, his enthusiastic hello might be a sign of deep friendship. The knowledge of personality style allows you to understand the behaviors of others; it enables you to accurately attach meaning to the reactions of those around you. Most importantly, you will be able to react appropriately within your own behavior set to the reactions of others and better manage the communication exchange.
Using your knowledge of personality style to understand others better begins by understanding yourself. People who understand their own style will fare better than those who proceed as if all people are the same. For example, if you are aware that you prefer logical, straightforward assignments, you should seek work in such an environment. If you thrive on working with people, you should choose a position in which you interact frequently with others.
Two Dimensions of Personality Style
The concept and basic dimensions of style date back to Carl Jung’s 1914 work (Jung, 1971). Jung was the first person to describe the traits of introversion and extraversion. Since then, many researchers have examined personality style and further developed Jung's ideas (e.g., Marston, 1979; Merrill & Reid, 1999; Schutz, 1966). One clear finding of this research is that the number of styles is not unlimited. Each individual is unique, but there are definite categorical commonalities. In fact, research indicates two basic dimensions of personality style, which we have chosen to refer to as assertiveness and expressiveness.
- Assertiveness is the effort that a person makes to influence or control the thoughts or actions of others. People who are assertive tell others how things should be and are task oriented, active, and confident. People who are less assertive ask others how things should be and are process oriented, deliberate, and attentive.
- Expressiveness is the effort that a person makes to control their emotions when relating to others. People who are expressive display their emotions and are versatile, sociable, and demonstrative. People who are less expressive control their emotions and are focused, independent, and private.