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Communication Styles

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Communication Styles

Background

This information is about the specific health area mentioned above. It comprises a combination of textual and video information, on our site and on external sites.  We will be adding new specific health areas and further information continually.

The idea is for you to understand more about the health area you are addressing before you get too far building your action plan.

General Information

Communication Styles are so underrated from all aspects of life –  from working together, living together and relationships. When we join a company or go on a date we never consider a person’s  communication style. All people have different styles of communication and that communication can be effective or ineffective dependent upon whose ears are listening to it.

Personality, Character, Attitude, Style, Approach, Culture, Race, can all impact and have an effect on communication style. People might be brilliant communicators in terms or oral presentation but if the recipient of the message doesn’t like your style or approach they won’t listen.

‘Chalk and Cheese’ as the saying goes; the lively , dynamic, vibrant fast talking clear communicator will be ineffective in a group of accountants, who will switch off. The same stereo types would apply to a room full of sales people been addressed by an Actuary wishing to talk stats. These are simple examples but it’s not just about what we say, it’s how we say it and the approach we take.

When dating, one person may be reserved and quiet and may like interactive conversation, but chatting with a loud more outgoing person can easily be turned off, even if what they are saying is clear.

So effective communication and style is not just about what you say and how you say it but who you say it to.

There are a few different frameworks for understanding communication styles. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find the classic four: assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and passive (submissive).  Sometimes these have manipulative,direct and indirect added.You’ll also see the DiSC personality types.

Take our communication style questionnaire and see how you get on.

We have experts who specialise in communication styles and can help you along the journey.

Background Information

There is information available which will help you formulate your action plan – both on our site and on external sites.

On our site

CommunicationDrive

CommunicationDrive is all about how we communicate with each other, and how important this is in all aspects of our lives.

It also covers different styles of communication.

Take a look at PersonalityDrive which covers all aspects of personality and  locus of control.

We have experts who can help you on your journey to better understand yourself and your communication style.

 

We have relevant information on CommunicationDrive
MindDrive

MindDrive is all about understanding our mental status. This often effects the way we communicate. If we are depressed, anxious, stressed we think and communicate in a different way.

Often people do not consider another important element to communication and style and that is Age; yes age. often as we mature our habits, social influence, experience, conscious competence increases and this can easily change our communication style.

Our Experts can help you identify the changes and things you need to do to address any issues.

 

We have relevant information on MindDrive

On external site(s)

Communication styles help you understand your style and approach and how to manage them and become more effective at communicating with others.  This article from Straight Talk describes 4 communications styles (Director, Expresser, Thinker, Harmonizer) and how to establish which you and others are.

Our Everyday life site looks at how to deal with a different communication style to yours. Its a great site to learn new skills.

Video

Sometimes the owner of a video will not allow the video to be played on external sites.  If you see the video is unavailable on the left just click the ‘WATCH NOW’ link on the right and the video will play in a new window.

Communication styles

Brian Walsh explains that there are 3 different ways that people learn based on how they listen. 

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Questionnaire

In order for you to assess what you know about this health area, we suggest using a questionnaire. This might help you understand your situation in this area, or taking it might improve your understanding of the area.

You may be able to take this questionnaire online – either here on our site or on an external site – or download it and complete it on paper – it depends on copyright (and whether we’ve managed to build it on our site!).

The ways you can take a questionnaire:

More than one PDFs, More than one external site questionnaire, Questionnaire on our site

Take Questionnaire on our site

You can take a questionnaire on our site. This will score the questions automatically and give you a summary showing what your score means.

Our Questionnaire

This is quick and easy to complete with some statements which you have to choose Yes if you agree or No if you don’t.  You’ll then be given scores in 4 different areas or styles, and the high scores indicate which is your natural style. There’s also some information on each.

Welcome to your Communication Style Questionnaire ACTP

Becoming aware of your communication style and those of other people is a good place to start when you want to improve your communication skills.

Each person has a unique way of communicating. Listen to your own speech. What sorts of words do you use? Which sort of body language and what tone of voice do you often use? In what situations and under what circumstances does your communication style change?

Now, think of someone who you regard as a good communicator. Who do you know who can explain things clearly, who listens and understands what others are talking about? What is it about the way they communicate that you like? Compare your style to theirs.

Let's look more closely at your communication style. There are many communication models; Improving your communication skills will become easier once you are aware of your own communication style, how you express yourself and how others perceive you.

The questionnaire below will help you to identify your communication approaches and attitudes.

Source: Brilliant Communication Skills – Gill Hasson   Courtesy of Empathy for Legal

I often do more talking than listening.

I am more interested in facts than feelings.

If I get interrupted, I find it difficult to get back into the flow of what I was saying.

I often check to make sure I've understood what other people have said.

I prefer to talk about things rather than think about them.

I change the way I talk depending on whom I'm talking to (for example, I speak more slowly and clearly with someone whose first language is not English; I avoid using work-related jargon when talking with someone who doesn't work in the same type of job as I do).

I like to listen to information that will help me solve a problem or give me new ideas.

I can express my ideas clearly.

I like conversations and discussions to keep to the point.

I often have difficulty putting my thoughts or feelings into words.

I encourage other people to talk, and I ask appropriate questions.

When other people become emotional around me, I'm not sure how to react.

I use diagrams and charts to help express my ideas.

I often get so caught up in what I’m saying that I’m unaware of the reactions of my listeners.

Before I send a message, I think about the most relevant way to communicate it (in person, over the phone, in a note, email or text).

I like to make “to do” lists and cross things off as I complete them.

I often do more listening than talking.

I enjoy conversations and discussions that take place at the same time as doing something else.

I take time to find the right words that will clearly express what I want to say.

I can tell when someone doesn't understand what I'm saying.

When talking to people, I pay attention to their body language.

I like meetings to follow an agenda and a timetable

I will stop a speaker in mid-sentence if I disagree with a statement they have made.

If I don't understand something, I tend to keep it to myself and figure it out later.

I try to divert or end conversations that don't interest me

To be really clear, I like to see things in writing.

I find it easy to see things from someone else's point of view.

I get straight to the point in emails.

If I find a conversation boring, I'll let my mind drift away.

My body language and gestures are quite controlled.

If I'm writing a formal letter or one with difficult or sad news, I often write it out several times before I send it.

If I have something relevant to add, I'll interrupt someone to ensure my views are heard.

I accept differences and conflict as a normal part of any work environment, and I know how to address them constructively.

I am completely at ease when a conversation shifts to the topic of feelings.

I try to anticipate and predict possible causes of confusion, and I deal with them up front.

I enjoy leading a conversation (e.g. choosing the topic, controlling the pace).

I present my ideas so that others are receptive to my point of view.

You will see your scores in four areas, and there will also be some explanatory text on each.

Take questionnaire on external site

You can take this questionnaire on at least one external site.

Communications Styles have a quick and simple questionnaire which determines which style you use – it’s 14 questions and takes 5 minutes and gives good clear output and you don’t have to enter an email address or register. You can take a more detailed questionnaire.

Personality Lingo have a quick quiz on styles – Connector, Planner, Thinker, Mover

Download questionnaire and take it yourself

You can download at least one questionnaire from our site.  You will have to score the questionnaire yourself.

It’s the Office of Recreational Services (CNURec) Communication Style Quiz.  It’s a simple 12 question quiz and categorizes you as being one of four styles.

 

This is the same questionnaire as on our site – if you download it you will have to score it yourself.  It’s from the Heather Gordon Consultancy.  You’ll then be given scores in 4 different areas or styles, and the high scores indicate which is your natural style. There’s also some information on each.

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All areas of health are interlinked

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Find your initial focus

You might think that physical, financial and mental health are quite separate, and for some people they are. However, often a problem in one area has a knock-on effect on others. Losing your job can lead to anxiety and depression, which can turn you to drink and impact your health.

You might have a severe issue in one area but that can lead to problems in other areas, and the people treating you for the first problem won’t be equipped to deal with these linked issues.

For example, doctors and nurses can treat you for a physical problem but can’t advise you about your job or finances.  Nor for the anxiety that comes with it, apart from prescribing some drugs, which might or might not be the best solution.

We encourage you to take a holistic view – we look at all areas and offer support across the whole spectrum.

health areas interlinked

Even this view of health is simplistic, as you’ll discover later if you go down that route.  You might want to consider overall health, or wellness or wellbeing, which include additional types of health, such as occupational health (how you are in your job).   Then there’s happiness and quality of life – how do these fit?

If you’re interested in that, click the link here to see more information.

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Health Areas in Domains

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Domains

We break down the overall concept of health or wellness into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.  The first level we call health domains. 

We like the Life of Wellness site and we have chosen the following domains.

1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community

Health Areas

Within each domain, we have included a number of health areas. These are specific issues that you can tackle.  Within each health area, e.g. Depression, we have built additional information and exercises which you can do to help in the area. You can create your own Action Plan to address this area, and see

Emotional: Anxiety, Compassion Fatigue, Depression, Gambling, Laughter, Narcissistic, Personality Disorder, Sleep, Stress

Environmental: Environmental Issues, Greenness

Financial: Debt, Family Finance, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness

Intellectual: IQ, Personality, Procrastination

Occupational: Jobs for Different Personality Types, Retirement Income, Work Life Balance

Physical: Alcohol, Disabilities, Dizziness, Drugs, Fitness, Food Preferences, General Health, Healthy Ageing, Illness, Nutrition, Sleep Apnea, Smoking

Social: Communication Skills, Communication Styles, Domestic Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Love Partnerships, Mental Abuse, Parenting Styles, Sexual Addiction

Spiritual: Are You Sensitive, Mystical Guidance, Spirituality

Each health area has supporting information and its own questionnaire.

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Understand Health

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Physical, financial and mental health

One definition of health is:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 

The NHS define health as: ‘We use a broad definition of health that encompasses both physical and mental health, as well as wellbeing. This means we are not only interested in whether or not people are ill or have a health condition, but also in how healthy and well they are.’

We believe we also have to consider financial health, as this can easily impact physical and mental health. Click the button to see an example of how these are connected.

 It gets more complicated…

What is Health? How about Wellness, Wellbeing or Happiness?

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) define Health as a state of the overall mental and physical state of a person; the absence of disease. They define Wellbeing or wellness as a way of life that aims to enhance well-being and refers to a more holistic whole-of-life experience which also includes emotional and spiritual aspects of life.  We expand on this definition of health to include financial health and mental health, to make it synonymous with wellbeing or wellness.  

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Health domains

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We break down the overall concept of health or wellness into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.  The first level we call health domains.

We like the Life of Wellness site and we have chosen the following domains.

1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community

wellness wheel

Health Areas

Within each domain, we have included a number of health areas. These are specific issues that you can tackle.  Within each health area, e.g. Depression, once you have subscribed we have built additional information and exercises which you can do to help in the area.

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See which domains you should address

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Having established that we use 8 domains, you need to understand which you should concentrate on.

The 8 are:

  • Emotional
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Intellectual
  • Occupational
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Spiritual

 

You can take a questionnaire, which scores you in each domain.  You can decide which domains you are strong in, and which you need to improve.

Another analysis shows which domains you should look at, but also which domains you want to look at.

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Locus of Control

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  • We want to help people in all aspects of their health  – physical, financial and mental. We also provide detailed explanations of how overall health (or well-being) is measured.
  • We believe these things are often linked, so we try and address health holistically. We are building templates, questionnaires and exercises to help you identify what’s important to you.
  • We think people should try and take responsibility for  of their own health as much as they can.  See below for what that means.

People look at things differently.  Some people believe things happen to them, while others believe they can influence what happens to them. Technically this is called the ‘locus of control’.  People can have an Internal or external Locus of Control

So how do you see things?

Psychology Today have a 15 minute test which gives you a summary of your position you can buy the detailed results if you want to.

My Personality Test have a 10 minute test which gives you a summary.

People tend to take more responsibility (locus gets more internal) as they get older.  However, external isn’t always bad – for example if you are physically unable to do some things you can accept it and focus on the things you can do.  This American video explains the concept and gives examples of how this can affect relationships.

locus of control

Internal

  • More likely to take responsibility for actions
  • Tend to be less influenced by others

External

  • Blame outside forces for what happens
  • Don’t believe they can change their situation themselves

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Add your attitude to change - see how you view changes in your life

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Do you need to change?

No matter how healthy you are at the moment, the chances are that there are some areas you could improve. It may be that you have a real problem in one or more areas, and you would like to make some improvements.

At YouDrive we accept that there are many different degrees of ‘not wellness’ in a large number of different health areas, ranging from physical illness such as covid-19 through mental illness such as anxiety through to financial problems like debt.  We try and help where the problem ranges from ‘slight’ to quite bad’ – after this expert help and intervention may be needed.

However, especially in these times, we have to try and make these changes ourselves, possibly with some help from others, whether remotely or face to face.

The thing is, to make an improvement we have to change some things.

This involves changing our behaviour in some respects, and that’s not always easy.

Henry Ford, the creator of the assembly line, is quoted as saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.  

henry ford

Another way of looking at this: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” – attributed to Albert Einstein.

Consequently we need to make some changes.  The problem is that we have already developed a lot of habits, some of which we need to break and replace by better ones.  Some of our bad habits have become entrenched, and the bad results they create in turn engender further bad habits to develop – in effect the bad habits can feed on themselves.

We need to understand how we can make changes and stick to them, and that’s what this part of your health profile is about.

It will involve some learning, through reading, some videos and some additional information and also seeing how you react to change currently.

It will also ask you to consider whether you feel you are in charge of your future, or whether you feel it’s all fate.

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Assess your overall health using a health questionnaire

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At YouDrive we try and help people improve their health. We use ‘health’ but we understand there are other terms such as wellbeing or even happiness that reflect how we are doing in our lives – if you’re interested in the different definitions and ideas see our page on the subject.

We want to help whether you have a particular problem – physical, financial or mental – or if you just want to improve some specific part of your life or just make some improvements overall.

You’d be surprised, but there has been a serious amount of scientific work done in this area over the last twenty years.

So first we allow you to assess your current health (or wellbeing, or happiness).  We do this by questionnaire.  Which one is determined by the type of person you are:

  1. You understand yourself well and want a quick overview of your health and wellness, and will drill down in any areas needing work
  2. You want to do a more detailed assessment and then focus on areas you’re already aware of
  3. You want to look at the whole situation in more detail across all the health domains.

By the way, we take your privacy seriously – we collect information that you choose to provide but we de-identify it as much as possible and will never share it with anyone without your explicit consent.

You can then drill down into some specific areas and there are more questionnaires to see your situation in these particular areas.  We provide you with specific information and refer you to other potential aspects of help. Our next step is to build a personalised action plan – for now we will make a suggestion for you to develop your own plan and then after a time you can see whether this has had a positive impact by retaking the test.

In future we will be engaging with medical and behavioural specialists to devise action plans for individual people with specific situations.

We have an overall questionnaire which you can complete which will assess your current state.

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Values, Attitudes and Beliefs

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We all have our beliefs, attitudes and values – these have developed throughout our life based on who we are and what we have done. Let’s look at what these are.

The University of Reading explain: “People’s values, beliefs and attitudes are formed and bonded over time through the influences of family, friends, society and life experiences. So, by the time you’re an adult, you can hold very definite views on just about everything with a sense of “no one is going to change my mind”.

The combination of your personal values, beliefs and attitudes are your moral principles that guide you in life and affect your behaviour. However, your views can wildly differ to others and in an institution such as a school, these beliefs may be counter to the values of the school, child development or indeed the law.” 

Let’s look more closely at the differences between beliefs, attitudes and values.

Beliefs

These come from real experiences – we think our beliefs are based on reality, but in fact our beliefs colour our experiences; also, an original experience e.g. when we were a child is not the same as what’s happening now. Beliefs can be moral, religious or cultural and reflect who we are. They can be rational (‘it gets colder in winter’) or irrational (‘I am never going to make something of myself’).

Attitudes

This is an immediate belief or disposition about something specific. It is a recurring group of beliefs and behaviours aimed at specific groups, people, ideas or objects. They will normally be positive or negative and we will always behave that way to the target group. Examples of attitudes include confidence (I can or can’t do something), grateful (I an entitled to / grateful for XXX) and cheerful (I am generally happy / miserable).

Values

These are things (principles or qualities) that we hold in high regard or consider to be worthwhile or right / wrong. They are formed by a belief related to the worth of something – an idea or behaviour. Some values are common (e.g. family comes first, the value of friendship) or cultural (which the whole community have – see video at Study.com here)

The theory

Links to Wikipedia

Expectancy Value Theory suggests you balance your beliefs about something with the value you attach to it. The Theory of Reasoned Action suggests that beliefs and evaluation about behavioural outcomes determine attitudes, and intentions lead directly to behaviour.

Beliefs

Expressions of confidence – can change over time

Attitudes

Learned predispositions to something – are subject to change

Values

Ideals that guide our behaviour – Generally long lasting and often need life changing experience to change

Iceberg demonstrating implicit and explicit bias – from Owlcation

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A Butterfly Life: 4 Keys to More Happiness, Better Health and Letting Your True Self Shine

Times of change can be a challenge, no doubt! Whether it’s a relationship breakup, job loss, or being diagnosed with a serious health issue. Or you may WANT things to be different, but it feels a little scary or overwhelming. The butterfly reminds us change can be beautiful, even necessary, in order to realize our full potential and live our best life.