Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 4: Capable and Confident Producers
Tool 4.3
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People have a number of different ways of behaving and responding, depending on the situation. When communication is difficult, it can be helpful to take an approach that suits other people’s styles and habits.

Whatever their behavioural style, people can be skilled at getting a job done and getting along with others. Once people are aware of the areas needing improvement, they can develop new skills to increase the flexibility of their behavioural range and enhance the quality of their relationships.

The process

Have all members of the business (or family) complete the exercise. Often, using an external consultant or other trusted person as a discussion leader or facilitator can help ensure the experience is a positive one for everyone.

  1. Complete the behavioural questionnaire by ticking those statements that apply to you. There are no right or wrong responses — this exercise simply provides insights into your preferred communication style.
  2. Add up the number of ticks in each of the four boxes, taking note of the positions of your highest and lowest results.
  3. Go to the interpretation table.
  4. Step 1: Look for the box which corresponds with your highest score, eg, if your highest score from the questionnaire was in the top right, then go to the top right box, which is called “Direct”.

    Read the statements. The higher your total score, the more you may find the statements describe you.
    Step 2: Repeat the process for your next highest score, and so on. Your lowest scoring box will provide you with a profile of your least preferred style.
    Step 3: If you are completing this exercise in a business, you may like to discuss people’s individual results, and what they have learned about themselves – when are they are at their best and what are their needs and stress points (fears)?
  5. You can repeat the process by looking at the list below ‘Hints on Communicating’. This will give you a good insight to your own preferred communication approach. Importantly, if you are completing the process with other business (or family) members, this step is a great way to understand each other’s preferred style. It will also help explain situations where communication blockages can occur and perhaps provide some ideas for change.
  6. Be aware of your own strengths and any areas where development may be required. Understanding your own preferences, and then those around you, can provide the opportunity to improve communication within the business or family.

Behavioural Style Questionnaire

Tick each statement that you believe is a fair representation of yourself in your role in the family OR business.

Download the Behavioural Style Questionnaire (103KB)

Interpretation Table:

  Introverted Extroverted  
Task oriented


Approaches work systematically
Pays attention to details
Focuses attention on immediate task
Prefers to stick to established guidelines
and practices
Likes to plan for change

High standards
Quality work

Criticism of work
Not having things adequately explained


Challenges status quo
Keen to get things done
Resists authority
Likes to take the lead
Takes action to bring about change


Challenges to their authority
Lack of results from others

Task oriented
People oriented


Works well in a team
Accommodates others
Maintains status quo
Recovers slowly from hurt
Prefers steady rather than
sudden change


Standing out as better or worse
Unplanned challenges


Leads by enthusing others
Prefers a global approach
Steers away from details
Acts on impulse
Keen to promote change

Change acknowledgement
New trends and ideas

Detailed work

People oriented
  Introverted Extroverted  


Hints on communicating with different styles



They speak thoughtfully, precisely with pauses for thinking.

Don’t interrupt.

Use : It’s logical, reasonable, clear, precise, balanced... guarantee...specifically...judgement...critical...exactly...factual ...qualified ...professional...just...well thought...out... planned... detailed...quality...discerning

Don’t use : creative...risky...daring...generally...colourful...make it up

They come to the point, in short, sharp sentences.

They think and respond fast and have an impatient style.

Don’t bother with niceties, or tell them long stories.

Use :’ll do this, will that be OK? true... solid...effective...bottom line...ball park figure...asap...we’ll get right onto first...leading ...initiate...get cracking...I’ll handle it...can do!

Don’t use : I’ll look into it...we’ll have to discuss must understand ...I’ll let you know...this needs a consensus’ll have to be patient



Generally quietly spoken, a little shy but friendly, approachable.

Give them space, don’t interrupt.

Use : How do you feel about it? would be helpful...I need...I’d be grateful if...would you mind assisting’s fair to ...quiet...modest... faithful...considerate....most people

Don’t use : Do this...Next!... Now!...that’s emotional could be the first person to...

Bubbly speakers, friendly, informal, they use creative language.

You can talk over them and they’ll join in. Don’t be critical. They’re optimists.

Use : positive...bright idea ...innovative...fresh...easy...

how do you see it? here are your choices...that’s easy...big picture...the’ll be fun ...enjoy it!

Don’t use : No way! show me your figures ...tried and’s always been like that...I’m only doing my job

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