Aden Leadership is all about communication because we know it creates stronger relationships, welcoming work environments, and collaboration that brings us more creative solutions. We all communicate differently and leaders, although they too have their own preferred communication styles, need to build flexibility so they can communicate effectively to the people around them.
Many leaders are able to adapt their communication styles based on the situation they encounter to build better working relationships. The communication styles within a team can greatly vary, which as a result, can lead to team members processing and interpreting things differently. As leaders, we can be responsive to how our employees listen and communicate.
The communication styles are best portrayed on a matrix. There are varying degrees of assertiveness and expressiveness. Assertiveness is how a person tries to influence other people’s thoughts and actions. Expressiveness is how a person displays their emotions while interacting with others.
4 Communication Styles
High assertiveness and low expressiveness. Lead by taking charge and are the “go-getters” in the group. They will work hard, fast, and will ask few questions. They may need to use caution to avoid seeming cold.
High assertiveness and high expressiveness. They love to flesh out big ideas, brainstorm, and talk about the big picture. They may struggle with nailing down details of these large ideas but are often quite persuasive.
Low assertiveness and high expressiveness. They are generally good listeners, lead by building group harmony and work to build trust within the team. They want everyone to be involved, but they often refrain from expressing their opinion though if they think it will displease others.
Low assertiveness and low expressiveness. They lead by planning carefully and focusing on the facts. They are well organized and efficient. They will likely be uncomfortable when asked to express their feelings and avoid confrontation.
Which do you most identify with? Is it difficult reading it like this? You can also do the Communication Styles Quiz, no shame in using a quiz now and then to help you figure it out!
A major difference between the types of communication styles is the degree to which you communicate with either emotions or data. Both are necessary in a group setting but picking the wrong style for an audience, whether it’s one person or a thousand, will shut down listening.
Adapting and Learning
When learning to adapt our communication styles to get our message across to others it is important to begin to understand the intentions of our employees. Intentions are what fuel our communication and our values are behind what we emphasize within the communication. Once we begin to understand the intentions and values of our employees we will begin to feel out what types of communication they respond to best.
For example, if you’re a “spirited communicator” working with a “systematic communicator”, you might want to tone down your normal overly enthusiastic wide-reaching ideas when meeting with the systematic communicator. The systematic communicator is very orderly and objective, so those two individuals with different communication styles might not mesh well when discussing a new project. It might be wise to try to meet more in the middle.
Communicating with others is the hardest and most important skill that we should master. Being self aware with our words shows that we care about others and strive to understand them as we become more flexible and adaptable in our communication.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw
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