Freestyle Communication - a short introduction




Imagine: How does it feel if you meet a new person and you start to talk to each other? How is the place, the situation and emotional setting impacting this moment? Is there a natural fit, or will it be just one more of those indifferent episodes of life we immediately forget?


Fellow Toastmasters, everyone of us has been in a situation like this a hundred times and very often we start doing freestyle communication. Something between experience and „guts feeling“, or we simply don´t care and let our emotions take over.




But wait - do we really need to „figure it out“? Is a Freerider „surprised“ by the track or the mountain itself? 

Well, some are - but most likely these people are very well prepared!



And so can we, as professional speakers and leaders!



Today I speak about communication styles and how you can identify them to better understand and improve your collaboration skills.


During the preparation of this level 2 project in pathways (Dynamic Leadership) I was reminded of many occasions during my sales jobs and I learned some new insights. Therefore I was able to connect a few things I like to share with you:

First of all you can figure out what your natural communication style is using tools like the survey in Pathways I am presenting right now. Based on this baseline you can reflect on your own behavior in different kinds of situations like

  • Anger
  • Stress
  • when you are relaxed
  • when you are curious

    There are 4 communication styles I want you to be aware of - just remember: 

„It all depends on what was SAID


Supportive: patient, cooperative and sympathetic (indecisive, reluctant to change)


Analytical: cautious, precise and disciplined (perfectionist, diplomatic if socializing)


Initiating: sociable, enthusiastic, persuasive (talks more then he/she listens)


Direct: results oriented, focused, competitive (impatient, demanding)



A new customer picks you up at the entrance and 

….asks you about your travel to his place and if you have ever been in this place before? 

….the first thing he says is: „I am sorry, but I need to leave in 15 minutes, we better start right away“.

….he is wondering if you are aware of their needs, if the agenda is still the same that was sent and if the people he invited are the ideal audience.


Since the communication style depends on the emotional setting, the surrounding and the situation itself we have a possible combination of 4 x 4 (16) when only two people meet.

But if you are aware of your preferred communication style and if you are able to recognize the style of your peer, you can try to adopt and be a more effective communicator.


There are certain behaviors for each of the four types of c-styles:


Supportive: like it calm, seek their opinion, give them time to take decisions

Analytical: like facts and figures, prepare, be patient when they process new information

Initiating: socialize, provide time for feelings and opinions

Direct: be specific, no repetition, focus on solutions, provide details only when asked!


In every case, be prepared and whatever topic you discuss, better have some facts on your mind. This makes it much easier to handle analytical and direct communicators.


If you are curious now, start watching yourself and in a second step watch others!

You will instantly start to adopt in the right way to improve - like a well prepared Freerider enjoys his ride! 




 If you find a person that seems to be very experienced and a subject matter expert, try to find out what kind of experience this person has and learn from it - or propose new aspects if you identify some blind spots.


You can use some navigational aids which I will describe in my next blog.