In General Knowledge

Communication Styles

Communication is the understanding between and among people. Although not necessarily an agreement between or among parties, it is an interdependent process. Often perceived as an exchange of verbal responses, communication styles also include non-verbal cues such as body language or behaviors. Therefore, it is impossible to not communicate as we all give and receive messages to one another.

Three Assumptions about Communication

1. Understanding that people cannot read internal thoughts, but can read external cues
2. Understanding that people judge others based on their behaviors and not their intentions
3. Understanding that successful communication is reliant on what is heard not what was said

Three Components Structure Communication

1. Content – What is the communication about?
2. Context – What are the attributes surrounding the content? What are the meanings of these attributes in relation to its surroundings?
3. Structure – How is communication organized and delivered? What is the framework for interpretation?

Knowledge of communication styles is helpful for both the regulation of yourself and your connections to others. Understanding your communication style and that of those around you can help you address the following emotional competencies:

1. Self-Awareness
2. Self-Management
3. Relationship Management

There are four types of communication styles, each with its strengths and needs for growth:

1. Dominance
2. Influence
3. Steadiness
4. Conscientiousness

What Is Your Communication Style?

Dominance

Strengths:

* results-oriented
* competitive
* takes charge

Ideal Environment:

* authority
* individual accomplishment
* freedom from controls

Needs Support Personnel Who:

* highlight the needs of others
* cautious
* fact finders

Areas of Growth:

* think before talking
* understand need for people
* listen to others

With Dominant People:

* be to the point
* highlight important information
* focus on win/win situation

Influence

Strengths:

* connects with people
* generates enthusiasm
* optimistic viewpoints

Ideal Environment:

* popularity and social recognition
* democratic relationship
* freedom

Needs Support Personnel Who:

* are task-oriented
* respect sincerity
* systematic

Areas of Growth:

* time management
* realistic assessments
* stick to decisions

With Influential People:

* focus on the impact on the people
* gives responses quickly
* don’t get into detail too much

Steadiness

Strengths:

* performs predictably and consistently
* patient
* helping others

Ideal Environment:

* peace and maintaining the status quo
* strong work/life balance
* minimal conflict

Needs Support Personnel Who:

* are good multi-taskers
* self-promoters
* are able to prioritize

Areas of Growth:

* risk-taking
* encouragement and creativity
* avoid passive-aggressive behavior

With Steady People:

* be patient
* ask for their opinions
* describe the benefits for them

Conscientiousness

Strengths:

* attention to detail
* analytical thinking
* subtle/indirect approaches to conflict

Ideal Environment:

* clear performance expectations
* high quality
* ability to ask “why”

Needs Support Personnel Who:

* can delegate
* use policies only as guidelines
* encourage teamwork

Areas of Growth:

* understand performance objectives
* ask for feedback on performance
* develop tolerance for conflict

With Conscientious People:

* focus on task, not people side
* focus on quality
* supply supporting data to answer “whys”

Communication styles can also be divided into three types

1. Aggressive
2. Passive
3. Assertive

Elements of the Aggressive Style

Beliefs:

* “Everyone should be like me”
* “I am never wrong”
* “I’ve got rights, but you don’t”

Communication Style:

* Close-minded
* Interrupts
* Monopolizing

Characteristics:

* Domineering, bullying
* Patronizing
* Condescending, sarcastic

Behavior:

* Puts others down
* Doesn’t show appreciation
* Know-it-all attitude

Nonverbal Cues:

* Glares
* Critical, loud, yelling tone of voice
* Fast, clipped speech

Verbal Cues:

* “You must/should/ought/better…”
* “Don’t ask why. Just do it.”
* Verbal abuse

Confrontation and Problem Solving

* Must win arguments
* Threatens or attacks others
* Operates from a win/lose position

Feelings Felt:

* Anger
* Hostility
* Frustration

Effects:

* Provokes counter-aggression, alienation from others, and ill health
* Fosters resistance, defiance, sabotaging, striking back, forming alliances, lying, and covering up
* Pays high price in human relationships

Elements of the Passive Style

Beliefs:

* “Don’t express your true feelings.”
* “Don’t make waves.”
* “Don’t disagree.”

Communication Style:

* Indirect
* Hesitant
* Doesn’t speak up

Characteristics:

* Apologetic, self-conscious
* Trusts others, but not self
* Doesn’t express own wants and feelings

Behaviors:

* Complains instead of taking action
* Tries to sit on both sides of the fence to avoid conflict
* Clams up when feeling treated unfairly

Nonverbal Cues:

* Fast, when anxious; slow, hesitant, when doubtful
* Lack of facial animation
* Fidgets

Verbal Cues:

* “You have more experience than I do.”
* “This is probably wrong, but…”
* Monotone, low energy

Confrontation and Problem Solving

* Agrees externally, while disagreeing internally
* Expends energy to avoid conflicts that are anxiety provoking
* Withdraws, is sullen and silent

Feelings Felt:

* Powerlessness
* Wonders why doesn’t receive credit for good work
* Chalks lack of recognition to others’ inabilities

Effects:

* Gives up being him or herself
* Builds dependency relationships
* Slowly loses self-esteem

Elements of the Assertive Style

Beliefs:

* Believes self and others are valuable
* Knowing that assertiveness doesn’t mean you always win, but that you handled the situation as effectively as possible
* “I have rights and so do others.”

Communication Style:

* Effective, active listener
* Expresses self directly, honestly, and as soon as possible about feelings and wants
* Check on others feelings

Characteristics:

* Non-judgmental
* Observes behavior rather than labeling it
* Open, flexible, versatile

Behavior:

* Operates from choice
* Takes appropriate action toward getting what he/she wants without denying the rights of others
* Realistic in her expectations

Nonverbal Cues:

* Attentive, interested facial expression
* Confident or relaxed posture
* Vocal volume appropriate, expressive

Verbal Cues:

* “I choose to…”
* “What are my options?”
* “What alternatives do we have?”

Confrontation and Problem Solving:

* Negotiates, bargains trades off, compromises
* Confronts problems at the time they happen
* Doesn’t let negative feelings build up

Feelings Felt:

* Enthusiasm
* Well-being
* Even tempered

Effects:

* Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
* Increased self-esteem of others
* Feels motivated and understood

Although the assertive style is generally most desirable, there are times when another style may be more beneficial. The aggressive style may be beneficial when in need to make decisions quickly, and when you know you are right and this fact is crucial. The passive style may be beneficial when an issue is minor, and when emotions are running high and it makes sense to take a break to calm down.

For the four communication styles mentioned earlier, there is no right or wrong style. All are acceptable for any situation as long as you acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. In contrast, there is a clear front-runner for the three types of communications styles for most situations. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it is important to know how to adjust your communication methods accordingly with those around you while not overcompensating how you feel and what you believe.

Related Posts

Tags Clouds

Comment Here

Leave a Reply

Send Us Message

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>