Common Business Communication Styles

The way a company communicates with its customers and team members offers a unique insight into its business, operations, mission and values, strengths and weaknesses, and treatment of employees and customers. However, with so many hands on the wheel to successfully run a business, communication styles often vary. Inconsistent communication styles can create a disconnect among team members or throughout the organization’s customer base. Consistency is critical; outreach should not be warm, then cold, then in the middle, and each with a different tone; a consistent method and style of communication are necessary to yield the best results, whether for customer or team member satisfaction

Understanding different communication styles and when and how to use them will benefit you and your team members in effective and efficient collaboration and by creating a positive environment. 

Young business woman talking to her collegue and smiling

4 Common Communication Styles Used By Business

Every individual has a different approach to how they communicate, which seems to yield the best results. Sometimes, people’s preferences fluctuate depending on the situation or to whom they are catering. However, we each tend to prefer the method we most often use for communication and which comes most naturally. Being able to recognize and understand the differences between communication styles will benefit you and your business in the long run. They will allow you to reach more people- no matter their preferred or instinctive choice of communication. 

Mark Murphy, who founded Leadership IQ and wrote a book of the same name, identified the four most popular communication styles among businesses:

  • Functional
  • Analytical
  • Personal
  • Intuitive

Below, we will look at each of these styles and help you choose and adapt your approach to align with each. Let’s dive in!


Individuals who gravitate towards a functional approach to communication depend on step-by-step guides and regular feedback from others to stay on track with their goals. While similar to analytical (detailed below), functional-savvy individuals are often more detail-oriented and the process overall. They typically appreciate specificity and tend to dislike vagueness. It is empowering for them to have all the facts ahead of time. 

When interacting with a team member whose communication style is functional:

  • Be succinct. Avoid over explanations or unnecessarily frustrating team members by equipping them with all they need upfront.
  • Prepare for verbal communication by preparing written materials. Functional individuals appreciate the freedom to go over or review written communication materials on their own time and use it as an aid when needed. Typically, it is best to send out accompanying written materials before the meeting. 
  • Encourage discussions. Let your team know that questions, comments, and feedback is welcome and that you are actively listening and crafting thoughtful responses.

The following traits are common among functional communicators:

  • Attention to detail, dislike of vague directions
  • Preferences for “How” questions as opposed to “Why” questions
  • Meticulously plans; likes clarification for steps before execution of steps
  • Likes feedback 


An analytical approach to communication emphasizes logic and thoroughness. An individual who gravitates toward this approach utilizes (and responds to) detailed data and facts rather than emotions. Ambiguous language undermines your authority and is seen as lacking understanding and specificity.

When communicating with a team member who showcases an analytical communication style:

  • Be specific and direct. Analytical communicators do not like small talk and find it tedious and unnecessary. Focus on what matters most and get to the point. The more precise your data is, the longer and more interested your audience will be.
  • Write thoughts or comments down whenever possible. Written communication encourages the analytical mind to go over all the details available before responding. As usual, check over the grammar and spelling when sending written communications to analytical individuals because they are more likely to notice these mistakes than those who have other preferred communication styles.
  • Avoid emotion-driven language. Keep the tone of communication professional. While some empathy is welcome or warranted, use it in the correct situations. Analytical communicators typically focus more on the data and information and less on the emotions or the audience’s feelings. 

The following traits are common among analytical communicators:

  • Avoids emotion-driven language and expressions in communications
  • Always is aware of metrics-or asks about them
  • Often takes a logical approach to problem-solving
  • Uses and searches for concrete evidence to support their arguments


Contrary to an analytical communication style, feelings and emotions significantly influence a personal communication style. Those who gravitate towards this style tend to love to talk, share advice, is an “open book,” and offer an empathetic ear towards others. They are often skilled problem solvers because of their ability to be thoughtful and considerate when choosing how to respond. Similar to intuitive communicators (detailed below), they prefer to focus on the “Why” questions over the “How” questions. 

When interacting with team members who are personal communicators:

  • Warm them up. Personal communicators are open books and are motivated by the possibility of forming connections among their colleagues. Before diving right into any problems at hand, check on them and establish some kind of connection.
  • Watch your tone. Personal communicators respond best to a warm, friendly tone. Try to be friendly and warm in written communications, as written communications are often the most misinterpreted. There are even internet tools available to assess the tone of written communication before sending it out.
  • Always provide context. Sharing the backstory or thought process in the decision-making process will help personal communicators feel more confident in the upcoming steps. While analytical or functional communicators might prefer to jump straight into the data, personal communicators would be more comfortable having an open space to share feedback, express support, and form connections among the team and team leaders. 

Personal communicators tend to exhibit the following traits:

  • Open, emotional, and expressive 
  • Begins interactions by asking about the others’ well-being
  • Responds negatively to logical or only data-driven presentations and communication
  • Often wants to know the reasons and process behind a decision


Contrary to analytical and functional communication styles, intuitive communicators gravitate toward the big picture rather than the minute details. These individuals like the creative side of work and thrive when encouraged to think outside the box. They are often interested in the long-term vision of the task at hand rather than the data or small details.

When interacting with team members who exhibit intuitive communication style:

  • Offer an overview of the issues. These individuals craft their motivation by understanding why their actions are an essential component of the bigger picture.
  • Be concise. Intuitive communicators often feel overwhelmed when there are too many unnecessary details. Keep the communication or discussion brief by focusing on the most important parts and just what they need to do.
  • Nurture inspiration. Make sure your team members are allowed and encouraged to be creative and express ideas and themselves. Offer empathetic responses, listen intently, and make certain team members feel heard and valued. This can come from a brainstorming session among team members, developing an implementation plan, and so many other things. 

Intuitive communicators often have the following traits:

  • Often showcases creativity and insightfulness
  • Open to other options and discovering new ways to do things
  • They can get bored quickly and overwhelmed when there are too many unnecessary details
  • They often get right to the point quickly but have the reasoning or evidence to back it up

So, how do you communicate? While one style isn’t better than the other, it is important to identify which style you embody and match it as best you can with your audience. Whether the audience is your team or your customer base, pay attention and choose the best communication style for your business!

Get started with VoIP today and see communication, productivity, and efficiency improve among your team!