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Communication Strategies for Different Personality Types

Communication Styles

Communication skillsCommunication style is characterized by the way people appear (or attempt to appear) in communication, the way they tend to relate to the ones they communicate with and how their messages are typically interpreted.

Different personality types process and communicate information differently. For example, an ENFJ will communicate well with people of ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, INFP types (i.e. all who belong to the NF group), but not necessarily communicate effectively to individuals belonging to the ST group (ESTJ, ISTJ, ESTP, ISTP). This is because the ST people process and communicate information in a sensory and logical way rather than an emotional and conceptual one.

The following are communication style descriptions of the 16 personality types:

Preferable Communication Style

The chart below summarizes what communication style would be preferable when communicating to various personality types.

With ST people:

  • Be specific, confident, well-reasoned
  • demonstrate immediate advantages, profit
  • provide examples; use visual aids.

With NT people:

  • Be specific, well-reasoned; use visual aids, diagrams
  • use concepts, theories
  • appeal to intellectual capabilities
  • give them a challenge
  • show how the problem in hand or subject of communication fits into the "big picture"

With SF people:

  • Be supportive, expressive, and confident
  • provide examples; demonstrate immediate advantages, profit
  • appeal to feelings and emotions

With NF people:

  • Be expressive, well-reasoned
  • use visual aids
  • use concepts, theories
  • appeal to their intuition
  • give them a challenge
  • show how the problem in hand or subject of communication fits into the "big picture"

What is your personality type? Take the Test!

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Easy To Comprehend

The chart below summarizes areas of communication (or topics) that would be relatively easy to comprehend by various groups of personality types.

By ST people:

  • Practices (ways of doing something)
  • Resources (means, personnel, equipment, tools, materials, money)
  • Analyses (the examination of something in detail, study of interrelationships between the details, in order to understand it or draw conclusions from it)
  • Implementation (practical realisation, ways of realisation, how things are actually carried out or accomplished)
  • Rules (rules, procedures, policies, regulations, laws)

By NT people:

  • Ideas, concepts
  • Analyses (the examination of something in detail, study of interrelationships between the details, in order to understand the whole or draw conclusions from it)
  • Assessment (analysis or estimation of the characteristics, qualities or value of a thing or a person)
  • Trends
  • Reviews (expert reviews, analyst opinions)
  • Paradoxical facts (that seemingly contradict the established beliefs or practises, that may nonetheless be true)
  • History (preceding events)
  • Future (future perspectives, outcome, how things and events may develop, consequences of actions)

By SF people:

  • Feelings and emotions
  • Casual chatter
  • Guesswork and premonitions (feelings of something to happen, even without a strong rationale)
  • Practices (ways of doing something)
  • Opinions and beliefs (even without a rational basis)
  • Resources (means, personnel, equipment, tools, materials, money)
  • Looks (way somebody or something appears); personal appearance, style, or fashion

By NF people:

  • Ideas
  • Teachings
  • Feelings
  • Casual chatter
  • Reviews (expert reviews, analyst opinions)
  • Values
  • History (preceding events)
  • Future (future perspectives, outcome, how things and events may develop, consequences of actions)
  • Beliefs
  • Personal appearance, style, or fashion

Not So Easy To Comprehend

The table below summarizes areas of communication (or topics) that wouldn't be so easy to comprehend by various groups of personality types.

By ST people:

  • Feelings
  • Beliefs
  • Casual chatter
  • Guesswork and premonitions (feelings of something to happen without a strong rationale), gossiping

By NT people:

  • Subtle differences in feelings
  • Gossiping
  • No alternative, “there is only one way”

By SF people:

  • Analyses (the examination of something in detail, study of interrelationships between the details, in order to understand it or draw conclusions from it)
  • Theories (theoretical or scientific principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, seen as distinct from actual practice)
  • Surprising facts (that seemingly contradict the established beliefs or practises,  that may nonetheless be true)

By NF people:

  • No alternative, “there is only one way”
  • A very detailed examination of something
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