Each of us has two other opposing pairs of innate preferences. In our communications we prefer either Directing or Informing. In our interaction with others we prefer either Initiating or Responding.
* Directing communications have a time and task orientation with an implication of urgency to get the task done. "Have your report to me by close of business today."
* Informing communications are designed to enroll the other in the process by providing motivation with relevant information. "Your report is an essential part of our project."
The directing style of communication is easiest to spot. The extreme form is the style used by traffic cops, stressed parents, and military commanders. It includes communications that would be classified as a "direct order." Examples include: "Sit down", "Put it over there", "Clean your room."
The informing style of communication is harder to detect. Sometimes those with the directing style are simply oblivious to it, not recognizing that a defining interaction just transpired. Extreme forms of this communication include messages that might be classified as "victim talk." Examples include: "I don't have any money", "That music is so loud", I'm not feeling good."
* Initiating types are more comfortable with making the first contact and establishing role relationships. They like to engage others in interaction and conversation and are more fast paced.
* Responding types are more comfortable letting others initiate contact and accepting the roles established by others. They are more slow paced and are comfortable with silence.