The Heart of Communication is Human Connection with Maryanne O’Brien

Did you know there are four different styles of communication? Expressive, reserved, direct and harmonious. Each has different strengths that can be leveraged to help teams better connect, collaborate, and build trust. In this episode, Maryanne O’Brien, author of The Elevated Communicator, breaks down all four styles and explains how leaders can adapt to each type to strengthen well-being and resolve conflicts. Listen in to learn how to show up as the best expression of yourself instead of the stressed expression.

Guest Info

Maryanne O'Brien, People + Culture Consultant - Conscious Company 

Maryanne O’Brien has spent decades guiding people and cultures to foster open communication, cultivate curiosity, and deepen trust. She has a depth of experience building iconic brands and purpose-driven organizations, and helping businesses to consciously transform. She’s passionate about supporting companies that want to create a positive impact and has worked with large organizations like Nordstrom and Apple, as well as non-profits and small businesses.

Her first book, The Elevated Communicator: How to Master Your Style and Strengthen Well-Being at Work, was published by Simon & Schuster (April 2021).It includes a proprietary self-assessment tool she developed to help people identify their communication style: Expressive, Reserved, Direct, and Harmonious.

Her book and communication programs are helping to build genuine connections and trusted relationships within Paramount, Salesforce, national organizations and training platforms, and small businesses.


Guest Resources

The Elevated Communicator by Maryanne O'Brien

With teams experiencing more anxiety, stress, and burnout than ever before, strong communication skills have never been more essential. The key to this clear and effective communication begins with understanding our own personal communication styles. Bringing our whole and authentic selves to work improves relationships and teamwork. The better we know what drives us, how we impact others, and how our wellbeing impacts our communication, the faster we can close communication gaps to build healthy, successful, and satisfying work lives and more intentional careers.

Drawing on more than a decade of original research on communication tendencies and proven mindfulness and habit-formation techniques, Maryanne O’Brien has developed a proprietary model of communication styles: Expressive, Reserved, Direct, or Harmonious. This book provides you with a self-assessment to discover your style, an in-depth style profile to strengthen self-awareness and help you play to your strengths, strategies to manage your communication style under stress, and how to be more effective and build healthy, trusted working relationships.

Communication Styles Assessment: take this short assessment and identify your primary and secondary communication style.

Ideas to Elevate: Maryanne provides tips here for how you can elevate your communication.


Show Notes

Key takeaways from this episode:

- A leader’s communication sets the tone for everything, flex to your team’s individual styles

- Build trust through clear communication rooted in human connection

- Celebrate humanity and extend grace to yourself and others

What to listen for:

[02:30] The spectrum of how we express ourselves
[06:27] How to break out of stress cycles
[08:11] How a leader can flex toward others styles
[13:25] The importance of self-awareness
[20:37] The four styles of communication
[29:38] Maryanne’s self-limiting story
[32:04] Quick questions with Maryanne
[37:16] Maryanne’s challenge to leaders for making a more human workplace


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