The ACE Model

The model was developed in conjunction with a major commercial company and has been used extensively with individuals and teams at all levels of public and private sector organisations in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA and Canada.

"We have used ACE extensively for many years. People are constantly surprised at how accurate their report is and the insights that it gives."

Joe Brayford, Human Resources Director Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The four ACE styles are called

The Helper

The Helper

Whose communication style will be:

  • Serious
  • Professional manner
  • Focus on principles and clear issues
  • Emphasis on quality and excellence
The Helper

The Mixer

Whose communication style will be:

  • Friendly
  • Optimistic manner
  • Focus on people and relationships
  • Emphasis on opportunities and new ideas
  • Face to face
The Helper

The Driver

Whose communication style will be:

  • Direct
  • Purposeful manner
  • Focus on task and opportunities
  • Emphasis on action and delivery of goods
The Planner

The Planner

Whose communication style will be:

  • Considered
  • Detached manner
  • Focus on task and process
  • Emphasis on planning and anticipation and management of tasks
  • Likely to be via e-mail

ACE uses a range of short on-line surveys to help individuals to identify their preferred communication strategies and gives a profile of their overall communication style in everyday circumstances and when under threat or stress. The model and report can be readily understood and then used to support individual personal and professional development.

Also, ACE can be used in teams where it provides a common language to explore communications issues that focus at the behavioural rather than personal level. For both forming and established teams we have found that it provides a readily understood framework that helps people explore how they work together including what causes difficulties and tensions between team members. It also highlights where behavioural strengths are missing and helps teams work through how they may be developed or added.

The benefits of using the ACE model


  • Identifies natural strengths
  • Describes why communication clashes happen
  • Identifies strategies for powerful influencing
  • Provides self development materials
    • Managing priorities
    • Coaching and mentoring
    • Managing stress


  • Models team development process
  • Describes leadership style
  • Explains team dynamics
  • Describes strengths and weaknesses of the team
  • Identifies how the team should develop
Patterns of Behaviour