Did you know that there are 4 styles of communication ? And that each profile has its own characteristics and requires specific forms of management? The purpose of this content is to reinforce that good communication in the corporate environment is essential to minimize conflicts and increase productivity. 4 types of communication styles
Throughout the article, you will learn about communication styles, know the particularities of each profile and how you can deal with them in different situations. Strategies are focused on remote and hybrid work, a reality that is very present in companies. Good reading!
The communication is the main tool used by human beings to express needs and feelings. It occurs when we transmit a message and receive a response. But there are different styles of interpersonal communication and we often need to manage them all in the same company.
A style of communication is the set of expressive qualities that are characteristic of the sender of a message . According to psychology there are 4 styles of communication. Now, we’ll look at how to deal with them effectively and empathically.
1. Passive communication style
People with this style often have difficulty expressing their needs and fighting for what they believe. Still, they hesitate to be protagonists in an undertaking, precisely because they want to avoid conflicts and any indisposition. 4 types of communication styles
In this sense, peers see passive communicators as relaxed but slightly shy.
- they are silent: that collaborator who doesn’t express himself much during the meetings;
- gives consent: he even gives an opinion, but changes his mind as soon as someone demonstrates the opposite position (or responds: “for me, whatever you decide is fine”).
How to manage:
- when you need to talk to a passive communicator, do it individually. As they do not like to interact in groups and avoid speaking their thoughts in front of other people, these professionals prefer to open up in private conversations;
- give options to communicate in other ways, exposing feelings and concerns as you feel more comfortable doing so. Try broaching an issue with passive communicators via email rather than during a meeting;
- collaborate so that they feel safe in the work environment . Psychological safety provides a favorable atmosphere for opening up passive communicators.
- let them know that they will not be reprimanded if they express a contrary opinion.
2. Aggressive communication style
It is the opposite of the passive communicator. Aggressive people are able to express their opinion directly and confidently . In general, they are those employees who take the floor during meetings and show no sign of shyness when they need to express themselves on any topic. 4 types of communication styles
But the self-confidence of aggressive communicators can make others uncomfortable. Interacting with them is often a cause for fear.
- has a lot of persistence and dominance during a conversation;
- the tone of voice is opposing;
- speaks longer and beyond others. In general, he is the first to answer a question or he usually interrupts whoever has the floor;
- he is not aware of the feelings of his colleagues, as he rushes to expose his ideas;
- they tend to challenge the opinions of others without too much embarrassment.
How to manage:
- this profile may find it difficult to respect boundaries. It is up to managers to establish and impose what they deem necessary;
- frequent interruptions to meetings, for example, should not be tolerated. Ask the aggressive communicator to wait for the colleague’s conclusion and then express their opinions;
- share safe spaces so they can express their frustration. Employees in this profile often dramatize situations when they are under pressure.
3. Passive-aggressive manipulative communication style
This profile merges characteristics of the two previous types and is also called passive-aggressive communicator. In this case, instead of being direct in the opinions he issues, he establishes indirect ways of expressing his discontent. 4 types of communication styles
This feature makes the handler look nice to some people , but nasty to others. But why do they convey this impression? The explanation is simple: the passive-aggressive communicator avoids solving a problem directly with the person involved.
So he takes out his irritation on a third party. Generally, whoever hears the complaint did not even participate in the conflict.
- they are indifferent to those who differ. At the same time, they seem nice to others;
- discontent with something is evident in the tone of voice, even though he uses gentle words to communicate;
- as they don’t resolve their discontents through dialogue, they keep sighing without expressing themselves verbally;
- comment with someone on the team about a conflict with another member and thus avoid solving the problem directly;
- words and actions contradict each other, tone of voice, body language and facial expressions diverge. This is because passive-aggressive communicators intend to say something but act otherwise.
How to manage:
- in conflict situations, remain calm and professional. It is common for communicators of this profile to try to provoke colleagues into expressing anger that they themselves are unable to express;
- help by redirecting to the most suitable person. When you notice that the passive-aggressive employee is taking out their problems on the wrong person, ask: “Have you talked about this with so-and-so?”; 4 types of communication styles
- this is the perfect time to encourage you to resolve your conflicts ethically and professionally;
- counterattack with kindness. If you notice that a teammate avoids dialoguing with you or performing tasks as a team, consider that they may have a passive-aggressive communication style. So, propose a friendly conversation.
4. Assertive communication style
It is the ideal communication style , as it is the only one capable of creating a connection between people. The employee who practices assertive communication becomes a facilitator in relationships, including conflicting ones.
In addition to solving your problems objectively, this profile expresses your ideas and limits while maintaining respect with your colleagues. Still, it shows its point of view respecting the opinion of others.
It is very easy to distinguish favorable from unfavorable situations. And, if he deems it necessary, he refuses to do something he doesn’t agree with.
- ability to give clear and objective feedback ;
- accept constructive criticism;
- solves problems as soon as it identifies them, preventing them from getting worse;
- demonstrates emotional intelligence , as it recognizes and admits when it needs help;
- expresses feelings and needs, in addition to dealing with emotions in a healthy way;
- seeks solutions that benefit the entire group.
How to manage:
- support their ideas and know how to listen to their opinions;
- let it appear that the organization trusts the employee with an assertive communication profile;
- give conditions so that he can listen to others;
- seek to recognize and validate the assertive communicator’s point of view and allow him to explain his point of view. 4 types of communication styles
Importance of good communication in remote and hybrid teams
In 2020, we had evidence that teleworking is possible and has many benefits. However, a specific and significant disadvantage also needs to be considered by managers.
We are talking about the reduced (or almost non-existent) access to visual signals that are essential for efficient communication, including facial signals, tone of voice and body language.
The lack of this set of signals can lead employees to communication errors, in addition to noise and conflicts. A study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that home office workers are more likely to feel rejected or left in the background by colleagues.
Still, the survey, which interviewed 1,153 employees, showed that remote workers had more difficulty in resolving conflicts than those who worked at the company or in the office.
Tips for more effective and assertive communication
An HR manager will be successful in communicating with teams when he is able to identify communication styles and when he is able to adapt as the situation demands. The most suitable thing is to bet on assertive communication and convey the message clearly to the different publics of the company.
Therefore, developing oratory techniques and improving verbal and non-verbal communication to use them in your favor are good alternatives. Below, we suggest some practical actions to reverse the negative effects of inefficient communication and thus better manage your teams , even from a distance. 4 types of communication styles
1. Hold one-on-one meetings regularly
One-on-one meetings, also called one-on-one, are advantageous because they allow time with those being led, even if virtually. Frequency and regularity make employees feel noticed and listened to.
In this way, the manager is able to resolve outstanding issues directly, even offering the support that the professional needs.
2. Hold general meetings
Individual meetings must not suppress meetings between all members of the organization. This can be done in the same online environment, in order to increase alignment, especially when the company experiences some instability.
Take advantage of these occasions to celebrate achievements, present results, define next actions, listen to feedback from each department and also to connect and exchange ideas.
3. Develop shared workspaces online
On the internet, there are good tools for project management that can be used by teams. One example is Trello, a strategy that manages to keep employees informed about projects and progress in each area, in addition to deadlines and difficulties.
4. Perform team building activities
Team building is a kind of training that, instead of proposing the technical improvement of employees, promotes the deepening of interpersonal relationships. Thus, activities such as book club, various tests, game night, challenges are welcome, however, in a virtual way.
These are opportunities in which team spirit is renewed and social relationships are strengthened. 4 types of communication styles
But for communication to be efficient and assertive, two points are essential: learning to listen and convey what needs to be said clearly and objectively. Therefore, it is important to know the existing communication styles and also the particularities of each employee.