The Four Communication Styles: How to Understand Yourself and Your Audience


Having exceptional communication skills is among the top attributes employers look for in potential hires. Becoming an effective communicator not only includes honing in on key skills, such as how to adapt your message to your target audience, but also an understanding of your own communication style.

New York Times bestselling author Mark Murphy, has spent decades researching interpersonal communication and developed four fundamental communication styles to help you understand the ways in which you communicate and how your style coincides with those of others:

1. The Analytical Communicator

Analytical communicators like concrete data and numbers and tend to have a strong aversion to ambiguity. Those with an analytical communication style are largely receptive to people who are in command of facts and data and don’t identify well with emotional words.

Positive: You are relatively unemotional view of situations allows you to interpret issues logically and factually, and others will value you for your informational expertise and objectivity.

Negative: You may come across as callous and emotionless, especially when interacting with personal communicators who value warm and conversational personal relationships.

2. The Intuitive Communicator

Intuitive communicators like to see the big picture or a broad overview of the situation, avoiding getting lost in the details, cutting right to the chase. As opposed to functional communicators who like to hear things in perfect linear order, intuitive communicators would rather jump right to the end.

Positive: Your communication is quick and to the point, you don’t get caught up in too many details and you’re comfortable with the big idea. Due to your natural ability to view things large scale, you have a strong urge to challenge the way things are usually done.

Negative: You may lack the patience for situations that require great attention to detail. Because you are process driven and detail oriented, it can be difficult to interact with functional communicators.

3. The Functional Communicator

Functional communicators like well-thought-out plans and processes. They like to include every detail and display things in a step-by step fashion, the opposite of intuitive communicators.

Positive: Your attention to detail enables you to include every aspect in a situation. Others will value your love for process and detail and look to you to play devil’s advocate.

Negative: You may lose the attention of your audience if you allow your objective to get bogged down with details, especially if you have an audience of functional communicators.

4. The Personal Communicator

Personal communicators value emotional language and connecting with others. They tend to be good listeners and care about assessing how people think and feel.

Positive: Your ability to connect with others on a personal level allows you to form deep relationships. You may serve as the “glue” that holds groups together with your strong emotional intelligence, diplomatic ability to smooth over conflicts and passion for maintaining good health in your relationships.

Negative: You can come across as overly emotional, especially in communication with analytical communicators.


What is your communication style? For more information on developing your communication skills and discovering what your style is, head over to our resources page and browse through the tools we provide.


“Information gathered from Mark Murphy’s Forbes article entitled “Which of These 4 Communication Styles are You?”. For more information visit”



Written By: Claire Cumbo


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