Four Communication Styles on the Work Floor

By: Together Abroad 10-08-2017 12:11 PM
Categories: * Daily employment news, * Personal Branding,

‘We are going to determine what colours we are’, was the answer given by my colleague, when asked what the teambuilding day was about. To be perfectly honest, I am not thrilled to sit down and watch a pallet of colours pass by, which describe our personality and communication preferences by putting a label on them.

There are different approaches on determining what kind of communication style someone prefers. It can be done by using colours, elements or by describing the main qualities such as analytical, inspirational, or controlling. There are different models that classify a different number of communication styles. The results are supposed to give a representation of the different approaches people have when it comes to communicating.


Knowing each other’s communication styles can improve the quality of meetings. During meetings, I usually keep track of the minutes, apparently a task no one seems to enjoy doing. It is always the same people who speak their mind, who hold their tongues, and who incidentally decide to join the conversation. And it causes friction at times, depending on the topic and who is speaking.

Four Types

The four styles that I use during my training with clients identified the following communication styles: analytical, directive, expressive and supportive.

Analytical types are often characterized by being a bit more distant and careful in their wording to others, can sometimes even come across as emotionless, and they like to know the reasons and motivations before acting.

Directive types are often goal orientated, can be a bit impatient, tend to stay on top of things and like to control the things they do. They can come across as being blunt.

Expressive types are often full of ideas, tend to speak their minds without thinking it through, they are often full of energy and can motivate others too. Their conversation may tend to go all over the place and listening to others is sometimes more difficult.

Supporting types are often considered as friendly and caring people. They are sensitive to the atmosphere within a team. They are calm and prefer harmony to conflict. They tend to help others even when the extra workload is something they cannot combine with their own work. Saying no is difficult for them.

These four styles are often linked to the colours: blue for analytical; red for directive; yellow for expressive; and green for supporting types.

Understanding the communication styles of my colleagues may not necessarily make it easier or less annoying to communicate, but it does help in not being exhausted at the end of a conversation. During meetings, it can help prevent an endless discussion that does not lead to anything productive. So, even though I do not look forward to the whole discover your colour teambuilding event, I do see the value it can offer.

Cecile Koster



Sonja Schaap:


This article is restricted. You have to be logged in to be able to add further reactions.


For an expat moving to the Netherlands, getting the right direction is very important. It's important that one knows which steps and direction to take. Linda is an exceptionally talent counselor, her advice has helped me land a job within a week of coming to the Netherlands. I am grateful for her mentoring and look forward to a great working relationship in the future.

Dr. Hrishiraj S
Clinical Research & Affairs Manager

I approached Linda via TogetherAbroad for outplacement services in order to transition to a new career role. Throughout a time period encompassing several months, Linda provided expert advice on personal branding including developing a top-notch, market-aware CV, highly tailored job applications, and approach strategies with potential employers in the Netherlands. Furthermore, I found Linda to be highly knowledgeable in key related fields such as recruitment strategy, immigration law, contracts, labor agreements, and (un)employment benefits. Last, but not least, Linda is a great person with a lot of empathy for her clients, and it was a pleasure to work with her. I would recommend her to anyone who needs professional help with transitioning to a new career.

A. Aboufirass
Structural Engeer

Linda is a big mind. She thinks about things that the rest normally overlook. The insight she has about the dutch job market can only be achieved through years of experience and persistence.

Her business savvy is complemented by her mastery of understanding the client's needs and requirements. For my career I could say, she was the “Mary Poppins”, who guided me through thick and thin and helped me to land a career in the Netherlands

S. Bhattacharjee
FP&A Manager