How to Increase Communication Between Different Personality Types

November 25, 2012 — 11 Comments

There are times when my wife and I just do not seem to connect when it comes to communication.

How to Increase Effective Communication Between Personality Types

How to Increase Effective Communication Between Personality Types

I really want to hear her, and she really wants to be heard.  (See how I did that?)  But we don’t always communicate effectively with each other.

The problems with our communication isn’t for a lack of desire to connect.  The problem exists because our personality types are so much different.

Think of Personality Types as the Connectors on a Smartphone.

Each device uses a different connector.  If the connectors do not match, then you will not be able to “plug-in.”  Failure to “plug-in” to the personality type of the person you are speaking with is what is causing the communication problems.

The Personality Types also controls the Download and Upload of Information.  You download information through your personality filter, and upload it through your personality filter as well.  The download is how you see and hear the world around you.  The upload is how you interact with the world around you.

Different Connections for Communication

Different Connections for Communication

The lack of communication can create some huge challenges.

    1. Damaged Relationships
    2. Decreased Productivity
    3. Decreased Profit Margins of Companies
    4. Increased Stress Levels when Working around other Personality Types

To avoid these negative consequences, you have to be intentional about increasing your communication.

Increasing Communication Begins with Understanding Personality Types

There are 4 major personality types that we each plug into.

    1. The Driver.  The Driver Personality Type will often be described as the “hard-charging leader.”  He likes to be communicated to in short bursts of information.  For the Driver, he is primarily concerned with how information helps him make a decision, fast.
    2. The Influencer.  The Influencer Personality Type is described as the “expressive artist,” or the “persuasive salesmen.”  He loves conversation, and is a great talker.  For the influencer, he is concerned with how information helps him persuade someone.
    3. The Steady.  The Steady Personality Type is described as the “loyal friend.”  The steady personality type makes up the majority of the world.  She likes to communicate in a way that makes her feel comfortable.  Not too fast, and not too much pressure.  The primary point of communication for a steady personality is to strengthen a relationship.
    4. The Compliant.  The Compliant Personality Type is described as the “analytical number cruncher.”  She loves to take time to really weigh out every option.  The primary point of communication for a compliant personality is to gather information.  This information will be used to make a decision, eventually.  Don’t rush this person to a fast decision.

Learn to Adapt to Personality Types to Increase Communication

When you understand your personality, and the personality of the person you are communicating with, then you can begin to adapt to increase communication.  Let’s examine my personality type, and that of Shannon’s.  You will see some very stark differences in our communication connectors.

image    Todd & Shannon  image


In order for Shannon and I to Increase our Communication, we have to be very intentional about

adapting our communication styles.  This means that I have to force myself to not download information too quickly.  In other words, I have to listen more.  It also means that I have to explain in more detail than I necessarily like to do.  However, this is critical for Shannon to connect well with me.  The same is true in reverse for Shannon.  She has to recognize when the driver in me is turned to maximum.  During those times, she has to communicate in sound bites if she expects me to connect well with her.

Use Common Connections to Increase Communication

clip_image004Shannon and I both connect well in the Influencer Personality Type.  This works so well for us on so many levels.  We love having fun together.  Laughing is a huge part of our marriage.  We also love family vacations, playing with our daughter, worshipping at church, and we cry at the same movies.  (Real men do cry.)  So for us, connecting our communication link on the Influencer side of our personality is a natural thing.  Check out the graph below.

It is very easy to see that the Influencer is a natural connection for us.  This is a fall back for us.  It is a place where we can go if we are struggling to connect in some way.  It is also a danger zone.  Since we are both influencers, if we are not careful we can have some very expressive disagreements.

Once we learned this about ourselves, having a meaningful conversation with each other became so much easier!

If you would like to take your Personality Profile, I can do that for you.  My company Service Excellence Training has an online test that you can take to determine your Personality Type.  It will take less than 15 minutes, and it is highly accurate.The DISCover Personality Profile is only $29.  If you order 4 or more the total drops to $19.  Ordering is simple, just write Stacy at stacy@servextra.comand let her know you would like a DISCover Personality Profile.  You can also call us at 512-333-4133. Ordering is secure and safe.  All request are handled by a real live person!

Question:  How have you effectively increased the quality of your communication?

Todd Liles

Todd Liles

Posts Twitter Facebook

I am Todd Liles, and this is my personal blog. It is focused on "Living Well." I follow Christ, I lead my family, and teach at Service Excellence Training. Get more of Todd on Google+.
  • Dan Black

    Great illustration and points Todd.Taking time to know and understand the other persons personality style is so important when it comes to communicating with them.

    I have taken a few strengths finder and personality tests and have been thinking about having my wife take one. It was originally so I can better know her and her strengths/personality and now I see how it can benefit our communication with each other. I’ll be talking with her about taking the Personality Profile you offer.

    Thanks for writing this post:)

    • Todd Liles

      Dan, if you have any questions, let me know. This tool has been great for building a stronger bond with my family and my team. I purchased the rights to this tool to use in my classes to shorten the “get to know you” time with new students. It then became obvious how it could be applied in all areas.

      • Dan Black

        I’ll let you know.

  • Matt McWilliams

    Yeah I can’t add anything to this one Todd. It is spot on right.

    Knowing the styles is 50% of my communication plan for team members and is a necessary starting point.

    I always tell people that you will learn the good stuff with time, by observing and asking questions, but the DISC profile provides a nice box to frame those observations and questions.

    • Todd Liles

      Matt – What a compliment. Thank you. And you are right, it does serve as a nice framework.

  • Pingback: How to Speak Into the Life of a Family Member | Todd Liles

  • John Burwell Jr

    Hello Todd, great information on the impact these personalities play with communication. How important it is when we are in this interaction with out team members, clients, and the other relationships in our life as you so eloquently compared.

    • Todd Liles


      Understanding people at this level has become a passion for me. It has allowed me to empathize with people in ways I was previously not capable of doing. I hope to get to a point to where I can very accurately identify the complicated mix of personality types without a test. I can identify the major types, but the subtleness is where the test comes in handy.

      Thanks for writing!

      PS – I would love to feature a guest blog by you on training. I think the readers would get a lot of value with your expertise. Consider this an official invitation.

      • John Burwell Jr

        I would be honored to be a guest thank you for the invite. Let me know what I can do.

        • Todd Liles

          I post on 4 topics: Career, Health, Family,and Spiritual. Feel free to pick one. If you like, you can do career. I’ll even link to your training site.

  • Pingback: How to prevent your marriage from ending in divorce | Todd Liles