The Importance of Communication Styles in Leadership
We all have different communication styles which will impact how we interact with others. We need to know what these styles are so that we can adjust our communication for our audience and get the most out of our relationships. If we don’t, then it’s likely that miscommunication will occur, and the relationship may suffer.
What is your communication style with your team?
Communication is an important part of our lives. The way we communicate with someone can have a significant impact on their opinion of us, and this could also affect the relationship that we have with them. Leaders need to communicate with others to get what they need or want done.
Every person has their own communication style, and it is important for us to be aware of our own, and how it affects others. We also adapt how we communicate depending on the situation and audience. In the workplace, this may mean varying your tone from one project to the next, from formal to informal. In life, this may mean adapting your speech for a boss or a child without ever losing sight of who you are and what you want to accomplish.
It is important for leaders to be aware of their natural communication style, and how to adapt the way in which they communicate. Only then can a leader communicate more meaningfully and have their communication be more willingly received.
The Six Different Communication Style Types & What They Mean for You
Having established that people have different communication styles, it is time to consider your own.
The six different communication style types are:
Direct communicators are confident and easy to read. They speak in a straightforward manner and don’t beat around the bush with what they want to say. However, while direct communicators tend to be more self-assured than other types of communicators, this can mean they focus on themselves and their needs more than others (or give that perception).
The indirect communicator is someone who avoids conflict and does not like to upset others. They will often try to avoid confrontation by hiding their true feelings. When they feel the need to communicate, they usually use passive or indirect communication styles ─ such as sarcasm or body language with facial expressions.
This type of communication style can cause ambiguity, with messages open to interpretation. If you want to communicate with an indirect communicator then you should focus on asking questions and listening carefully for clues about meaning.
A collective communicator can have a more nuanced form of communication, which can be advantageous when trying to build a consensus. A collective communicator is someone who has a natural ability to collaborate with other people and understand the group mindset.
An aggressive communicator is someone who prefers their communication to be direct, assertive, and concise. They don’t care much for small talk or diplomatic language. They are often characterized as rude, abrupt, and insensitive. They may refuse to cooperate with others, compare people to imperfections, and speak emotionally.
A passive communicator usually listens, nods, and does nothing more. They are not always the most social of people. Some people are likely to have a passive communication style because they are shy, introverted, or have low self-esteem. A passive communicator will listen but often not speak up when they have something to say.
However, they often have deeper thoughts and feelings. It can be difficult to get to know passive communicators because they don’t willingly share much personal information in conversation. You will find that they are more comfortable letting others take the lead in social situations and want other people to take care of them.
A passive-aggressive communicator is someone who tries to manipulate or control another person by using indirect, underhanded, and subtle forms of hostility. The passive-aggressive style of communication is characterized by a pattern of negative feelings and thoughts about the other person, while simultaneously behaving in a neutral or agreeable way. This type of person will use indirect messages when communicating with others, which can be hurtful when misunderstood by the receiver. It can also lead to misunderstandings between both parties when misinterpreted messages are sent back to the sender.
Tips for Communicating with People Who Have a Different Style from Yours
It can be difficult for leaders to communicate effectively with people who have a different communication style to their own. The key is to understand your own style and the style of others, to be able to adapt to an appropriate communication strategy.
Developing your communication skills helps you connect with people more effectively. It also makes it easier to successfully convince others to adopt your point of view.
Here are five tips to help you develop your communication style:
The importance of flexibility in communication style
We should always remember that differences in communication styles can be a major source of frustration on both sides. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to communicate with people who have a different style from ours and take the time and effort to do so.
The first thing we should do is identify our own communication style, and improve our ability to communicate effectively by adapting how we communicate to those with whom we are communicating. By developing a more adaptive and flexible communication style, leaders will find it easier to influence their team and positively affect performance.
To learn how our leadership coaching programs help to develop the skills needed for effective and successful leadership, contact Primeast Forward Focus today.