Straight Talk® as a Management Tool

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The Straight Talk® survey ( is a great tool for helping new employees fit in. Once you understand a person’s style, you will be better prepared as a manager to coach them effectively. The basic premise of Straight Talk® is that there are four primary styles of communication: Director, Expresser, Thinker, and Harmonizer. People tend to favor one style over the others. Once you understand a person’s style, you can anticipate their tendencies.


  • Talks in action verbs.
  • Cares about the “bottom line.”
  • Always on the go.
  • Speaks crisply.
  • Talks about goals.
  • May seem insensitive.

  • Speaks rapidly.
  • Uses animated gestures.
  • Entertaining.
  • Thinks out loud.
  • Talks about ideas.
  • May be imprecise.

  • Talks about details.
  • Inquiring.
  • Often makes lists.
  • Speaks carefully.
  • Wants things done “right.”
  • May procrastinate.

  • Talks about people.
  • Sensitive to others.
  • Avoids conflict.
  • Dedicated and loyal.
  • Speaks softly.
  • May overcommit

I remember working with a management team where there were lots of good brainy discussions. But not much was getting done! Once they took the survey, they recognized the problem. They were all in the Thinker quadrant. So when the next opening came up, they deliberately promoted someone with a Director style – and the team’s dynamics improved.

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Related Post: How Understanding Communication Styles Benefits You

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