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3 Communication Styles Every Team Needs to Know

Every person has a unique communication style. If we don't learn to understand each other's styles, we'll end up confused and frustrated. How many times has someone misunderstood or been offended by something you've said? It's a sure bet that it's not just you; the very people who have misunderstood you have also been misunderstood themselves. 

Here are 3 different communication styles, each corresponding with a set of enneagram types:


Ones, Fours, and Sevens are all idealists. Ones strive for a perfect world, Fours for a unique and authentic world, and Sevens for a world free of pain and full of joy. 

When they communicate with you, remember that this ideal is always hanging over their heads. Help them see how your ideas and thoughts contribute to that ideal. If you do, you'll win them over every time!


Twos, Fives, and Eights are the Relationists of the enneagram. Twos' communication attempts to move them towards people, Fives' communication often moves them away from people, and Eights typically challenge others. 

Remember that these traits are inherent to each type, and don't be offended when a Two wants to help, a Five wants some space, and an Eight wants to use challenging conversations to make sure things are getting done.


Threes, Sixes, and Nines are the Pragmatists. They want to do what works, period. Threes communicate what is necessary to achieve their goals, Sixes communicate what they need to know in order to believe they are safe and secure, and Nines communicate what they believe will bring harmony.

Don't be afraid to pry a little deeper into conversations with these numbers (though, don't be obnoxious) to help them find what it is they really want. Oftentimes they are unaware of what is at the root of their conversations. 

On Their Terms

Learning the language of another is a responsible thing to do. As Americans, we have this bad habit of trying to double-down on our language, regardless of where we are in the world. If the guy in Italy doesn't understand our request for the location of the nearest bathroom, we might be tempted to simply say "BATHROOM" even louder, hoping that somehow magically he will understand. That's irresponsible communication. 

Though you might be speaking the same language, technically, as those on your team, your communication style is almost as important, and responsible communication means learning someone else's language and style and using it to communicate.


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