Updated June 16, 2023
Introduction to Communication Style
The way one’s confidence level defines the trait of one’s personality. Similarly, one’s communication skills reflect the approach and attitude of a person. Regular communication is imperative in the current dynamic business environment with people you work with to stay proactive and informed. Communication also holds a vital position in our personal life, as it bridges gaps and connects people with new ideas, expressions, and visions. So does one need to be an extrovert to be able to communicate with its surroundings? Or an introvert suffers from poor communication skills?
Your communication style speaks a lot about how you deal with people and situations and their probability of being positive, negative, or assertive. Experts believe that an appropriate communication style helps avoid conflict and solve issues both in personal and professional life. So let us understand the different communication styles and the best one you can relate to your personality.
Different Communication Styles
Given below are the different communication styles:
1. Aggressive Communication
Getting things done by others may seem easy, and the best way to suit you is by dominating and raising your voice with an intimidating posture. If this attracts you, your personality will adopt an aggressive communication style forceful and hostile manner in dealing with people and situations. However, it can’t be said that adapting to this communication style is heinous or unethical as it may be relevant for a particular work setup or sometimes with difficult people.
The attribute associated with this communication style leads to people being too loud, rude, and threatening to others to meet organizational commitments, deadlines, etc. In their personal life with friends and family, they may practice the same behavior of getting things done as per their will and fancy. Others often misjudge people with aggressive communication; they become alienated by others due to hatred or sometimes fear. Does your style represent similar traits … do you often say: “I’ll get my way no matter what,” or believe in “I’m superior and right, and you’re inferior and wrong”? Then possibly, you have an aggressive style of communication.
A negative component associated with this style is its capacity to humiliate or hurt others, and that’s what the person practicing the style would get back. Aggressive communication would make the person an intuitive communicator with the least patience in getting into the nitty-gritty of the process and being straightforward in its approach.
2. Passive Communication
My personal opinion, feelings, and ideas can wait; let others raise this issue, and I may follow him… does this line sounds similar to what you think when it comes to raising your voice or objecting to things you feel uncomfortable with, if so, then you may have a passive communication style. A person with such a communication style avoids expressing his feelings, protecting his rights, or considering his needs very quickly. It is also difficult to say that this style originated from people’s introverted behavior at work or in their informal setup. Still, these people certainly fail to assert themselves. People with passive communication often restrain themselves from overtly to hurtful or anger-inducing situations. Why fight over issues that can be solved with mere silence…. Or do people not consider my feelings anyways… are these similar to your thoughts? Stop here and think….. If so, then you may practice this style of communication.
Silence is a silent killer for these people as they keep things up to them for too long until it reaches a stage of high tolerance, and it is then when these people have a high outburst which sometimes may create situations at the workplace. People with a passive communication style in their personal life also are easy to live with, as they are great listeners and are considered good friends. They have a polite and soft tone that attracts people to them very soon. Sometimes, being soft and shy, they avoid making eye contact or have slumped body structure, which shows a sign of low confidence. Such people are often anxious about their future and have lesser control over their surroundings, which may lead to depression or a feeling of resentfulness as their needs are ignored by others and by themselves.
3. Assertive Communication
I know my rights, responsibility, and duties; no one can know them better than me….. This could be your communication style if you believe and follow it with full heart and soul. Assertive communication makes the person straightforward and capable of stating their opinion and feeling in public without fear. It enables the person to firmly advocate for his rights and needs in any situation without harming or violating the rights of others. A person with high confidence caters to their needs and feelings and respects others.
People with assertive communication are generally very clean-hearted and clear with an idea of their personal choice; they are not easily influenced or can be bluffed by others in management setup or their personal life. These individuals respect and value time, as they have a clear vision of their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and demand respect not by advocating but through their contribution.
Do you believe in equal entitlement to express each other respectfully? Then surely this communication style suits your personality, making you feel connected to people around you and have control of your life. For example, in a workplace, people with assertive communication are generally considered mature; they address issues and problems on time as and when it arrives. They also build a respectful environment for others to grow; people with assertive communication stand for themselves and hold the courage to point out right or wrong for others.
People with such communication maintain good eye contact with people of every age, profile, and status, have no inferiority complex, have relaxed body posture, and speak with a clear & calm tone showcasing huge confidence at work and in their personal life. Another important trait of people adapting to the assertive communication style is that they are open to criticism, which may seem too difficult to accept at work and in their personal space. They also like receiving compliments which further boosts their self-esteem and confidence.
4. Passive-Aggressive Communication
You may appear subtle, but you can indirectly show your resentment and disapproval. You may appear cooperative, but actually, you are not…. Does this sound similar to you? If so, then this could be your style of communication. People with a passive-aggressive style of communication work behind the scene. This makes them incapable of expressing their resentment to others directly. This communication style makes the follower feel stuck, powerless, and resentful. They face numerous challenges, including objections over certain matters, but when deciding whether to raise their voices against right or wrong, they often find themselves stuck.
People with this style often have a habit of muttering to them, cribbing over the unacceptable issues,s. On the other hand, they have difficulty acknowledging their anger. One can spot such a person by their facial expression; their feelings or behavior usually unmatch; for example, you may see them smiling even when angry.
Do you use sarcasm to counter your feelings or issues that are unacceptable to you? This could be commonly seen in people with such a style of communication. They may appear extremely cooperative in a team, but they purposely do things to annoy and disrupt the workflow. People may find themselves alienated from those they find uncomfortable and indirectly show resentment over unrelated issues. They may progress naturally with age on the maturity scale, but these individuals are inherently challenged to attain maturity.
They are often misjudged as they seem too polite when they speak with irregular eye contact, which showcases a lower confidence level. They are even called two-faced personalities creating rumors and negative feelings among their co-workers. Also, in their informal setup, they cannot create long-lasting relationships because of their unclear intentions. By being confused, angry, and resentful, they may hurt the people they are working with or even friends and family members.
5. Manipulative Communication Style
The task assigned to you seems equally difficult as mine, but you have the resources to accomplish it, and I don’t have…. Is this familiar with what your team member may have said in the office? Then this is what manipulative communication sounds like; being extremely calculative and cunning at the same time. People with this communication style are cunning and try to control others by showing a sorry figure about them. They are very straightforward and do not think twice before keeping their self-desire a priority; They actively seek opportunities to complete their tasks or ask for assistance in achieving them. They generally believe in making others obliged or sorry for them by sometimes citing a small face or lying. People with such communication skills are highly competent in influencing others for their self-purpose and taking full advantage of others as required.
Guilt is a strong weapon for people addressing such manipulative communication; it is created by putting one’s position down if required to get work from others. They use different ways to manipulate others, such as shedding artificial tears and using soggy voices and low facial expressions to influence others about the sorry figure. A person with such communication skills could never make close friends as they are unsure of where they stand with someone like him, who may use their friendship for a selfish purpose, creating distrust and annoying feelings, among others. In personal life, this communication style leads to tremendous misunderstanding among friends and family; if they feel that their feelings are being used for a selfish purpose, it can even end the relationship forever. Moreover, the spoken words of a manipulative person have a hidden meaning that can’t be judged easily by others; their integrating and patronizing voice attracts people towards them but is often seen carrying a feeling of resentment and ill-treatment, which is annoying to others.
So what do you think? Which communication style suits you the best? It is essential to understand the different styles of communication to analyze one’s style and its associated shortcomings so that it can be worked upon. Positive communication leads to positive results and inspires others professionally and personally. Similarly, poor communication often results in tension and resentment at work and in personal relationships. It is difficult to say which communication style is ideal and which one should never be adopted because it is very much based on the situation and personal choice. Communication style connects a person with their personality; it eventually becomes a part of his working style, considering the ability to command respect, advocate the fulfillment of one’s rights, and stand for what is right and wrong. Therefore, a person must know what his work setup requires to adapt to a particular communication style.
Conclusion – Communication Style
Also, choosing the right communication style in personal relationships is difficult yet important because a positive communication style can help a person build long-lasting relationships. In contrast, a negative communication style can ruin it forever. Therefore, it completely depends on one’s choice, behavior, and goals set for the future.
This is a guide to Communication Style. Here we discuss the introduction and various types of communication you need to build with a detailed explanation. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –