Wouldn’t it be a dream to run a highly productive business where there’s little to no drama? Of course! That sounds freaking awesome…and impossible, right? Wrong.
The key to a highly successful, low drama business is effective, intentional communication. You’ve got to make it a priority—and part of your company culture. Seriously. As the quality of your communication goes up, the amount of frustration your team feels goes down. They can focus on the right things, build greater trust in one another, create an amazing customer experience, and get more work done—aka all the ingredients for a successful (and profitable) business. And all of that starts with knowing your communication style.
But figuring out how to build trust through your communication style can feel like swimming through a sea of muck at first—slow, hard, and maybe even a little stinky. But whether you lead a business of five team members or 500, it’s up to you to understand the four main types of communication styles. Then you can use the best style to set the stage for a culture of listening—one that makes your team feel heard and open to sharing.
Communication Styles Defined
A communication style is the way someone talks to and interacts with others. When it comes to your style, are you large and in charge, tight-lipped and soft-spoken, or somewhere in between? Both your business communication style (how you interact professionally) and your personal communication style (how you interact outside of work) show up in the way you write, speak and act. And these styles are influenced by your personality, degree of self-awareness, and confidence level.
These are the four main types of communication styles we’ll unpack:
- Passive aggressive
All of us use one style the most, but we can see any of these styles rise to the surface—depending on the situation and what buttons are pushed. The goal is for you to build the habit of using assertive communication even in moments when you want to communicate in a different, less effective way.
Passive Communication Style
On the surface, the passive communication style looks like a neutral attitude about a topic or situation—as if you don’t have a strong opinion or that you’re willing to let whatever happens happen. One more note about passive communicators–they don’t actively look for attention. Most dread confrontation—so they defer to others in uncomfortable situations and for decision-making. But here’s the thing: If you’re a leader, being passive isn’t an option. Leaders lead.