Navigating communication styles for scientists and researchers

Interpersonal skills are essential for scientists and researchers who need to work with peers, professional staff, project partners and the “general public”. What if you had a tool to help you understand how people communicate differently, and could use it to adapt your communication style to improve interactions?

Our customisable interpersonal skills workshops are based on the TetraMap® framework. Using nature as a metaphor, we’ll help you increase your self-awareness, gain a better understanding of different communication styles and strategies to bridge communication gaps, and equip you with practical skills to have productive conversations and successful interactions.

Effective communication skills are the cornerstone to success, both professionally and personally. Being able to communicate clearly, authentically, and respectfully is essential in forming positive and productive relationships. That’s what our interpersonal training is all about. We offer short self-awareness and strategy-building workshops for individuals, as well as longer half-day and full-day workshops for teams and groups who need to tackle communication challenges, or who simply want to strengthen existing foundations.


This course can be tailored to your needs. Here is a sample outline to give you an idea of what to expect.

  • Pre-work
    • TetraMap® self-scoring assessment (run by certified TetraMap® facilitators)
  • How communication works
    • The communication cycle
    • Look at how (and why) things might go wrong when we’re communicating, thinking about assumptions, bias, culture, channels, and more
  • Understand how different communication styles influence effective communication
    • Why think about communication styles as nature metaphors?
    • The four elements and what they represent.
    • What are your behavioural preferences?
    • Understanding strengths, and areas where others are stronger, in terms of communicating and working with others.
    • Understanding where conflict arises.
    • Building strategies for communicating and working with people from different styles effectively.
    • If in a team, developing a team communication strategy
  • Practical communication strategies, tools and skill development [optional skill-focused modules that build on foundational modules]
    • The power of plain language
    • Simple communication models to help you respond clearly in any situation
    • Active listening
    • Giving and receiving feedback across styles
    • Non-verbal communication: how to use it and how to read it
    • Difficult conversations: how to discuss what matters most
    • The art of the question

Benefits of TetraMap®

There are many assessment tools available to help individuals and teams understand and improve their communication and team-working skills.

So why TetraMap®? For starters, it’s not an assessment tool and makes no claims to “put people in a box” – it’s a framework that we use to raise awareness and create “ah hah” moments.

But that’s not all. TetraMap®:

  • Doesn’t put people into “boxes”
  • Strengthens unity and effectiveness
  • Is practical. It uses plain language, simple words and symbols. No jargon here!
  • Is simple to learn, easy to remember, and easy to use in everyday situations.
  • Is fun, engaging, and interactive
  • Is fast and effective
  • Is great for individuals, teams and whole organisations

Participants will leave the training with: 

  • An increased understanding your own preferences and behavioural tendencies
  • An understanding of why conflict arises, how to overcome conflict before it happens by thinking in nature-based metaphors
  • Strategies for dealing with challenging interpersonal conversations.
  • A better understanding and appreciation of the value of diversity.

For teams, outcomes include:

  • A better understand of how different people in your team like to work, communicate and engage.
  • A better understanding of how conflicts arise and how to avoid or address them.
  • Increased appreciation for the diversity in the team, and the different strengths that each member offers.
  • Reflective time to think about and plan team communication
  • A starting point for setting team communication (and other) goals.
Delivery formats

We offer this training as:

  • A half-day interactive group training sessions online via Zoom or similar platforms.
  • Two half-day team workshops that cover communication styles and interpersonal skill building, online via Zoom or similar platforms.
  • Shorter formats with modified (reduced) content depending on your needs, for example, webinars, short talks, and masterclasses.
Suitable for

This training is suitable for:

  • Individual researchers and scientists who want to develop effective communication skills
  • Research and project teams
  • Project kick-off meetings

Request more information

Training interest

Kind words

Loved this. So much information and still time for some good discussions with fellow students. I look forward to being able to use some of the ideas when I create my first poster.

Poster workshop participant

Student SHA Utrecht University

I have just completed SciComm Success' Poster Design Workshop. It was full of interesting tips and tools, some of which I have already built into my poster planning. Although we had a big group and I expected a lecture/webinar format, Suzanne constantly invited us to provide feedback and our own experiences, and I enjoyed hearing what fellow biologists like and don't. I liked that the group was international and enjoyed the flexible and informal discussions - some via chat, some using whiteboards, some simple audio discussion. It felt as if we could all contribute, wherever we were. I would recommend this workshop for anyone new to creating posters for conferences. It would probably be a good refresher for poster presenters, too. Thank you, SEB, for the opportunity.

Poster workshop participant

Society for Experimental Biology Conference (2021)

This was a good refresher on best practice planning and design for posters. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on tools for choosing colour palettes, which I have since used in other communication materials, and the discussion about online and virtual conferences, which was an eye-opener for me during COVID. Thank you, Suzanne!

Poster workshop participant

Genentech, USA

Have something different in mind?

Book a call with one of our training team and let’s explore what you are thinking about, what you need, and what we can do to help.