We’ve all dealt with the internal struggle of how to best communicate within the workplace. The truth is, we all have our own communication style and it is important to learn how to work cohesively with other styles. Here is an overview of some of those key communication strategies to help make stronger connections in the office, share your thoughts and influence the decisions of your colleagues.
Understand the Different Communication Styles
Any office you work in will have a wealth of different personalities, skill sets, backgrounds and roles all working together toward (hopefully) a set of common or shared goals. That can be a challenge to work with if you don’t know how to communicate with a broad audience. An important first step to successful communication is understanding the different styles you are likely to be working with. Here’s a simplified run down of common communication styles you may run into at work.
Manipulative sounds like a negative term, but really it describes how this personality type often complains, cajoles, and seeks affirmation. These co-workers know what they want, and they likely want you to help them get it. The best way to handle this personality type is to keep your cool, be frank and avoid engaging too deeply in their whiny or envious behavior.
- Passive Aggressive
This communication style, while less of an obvious frustration to work with than the first type, will often lead to some sticky situations. Sarcasm is a quick identifier of this communication style. These workers tend to feel undervalued and pushed to the side, and unable to take control of the situation. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to work with passive aggressive, try the direct approach. Ask them what they need, and offer them a bit more control over their co-worker or their situation to assuage their frustration.
Counterpoint to the passive aggressive co-worker is the directly aggressive sort. These team members may think they are being direct and to the point in areas where they hold the majority of the expertise, but they can come across as bullying or unsympathetic to others. If you are working around an aggressive type and are trying to avoid stepping on any toes, remember this response is not personal. Stay open and remain self-assured in your speaking style, despite any resistance you perceive on their end.
Submissive communicators are equally frustrating sometimes, because it is rare they are able to contribute in a room full of aggressors. Submissive communicators may tend to play the victim, and blame others in the team for failures they should share equal responsibility for. Communicating with a submissive can seem like an exercise of coming down to their level. But once they know you are receptive to their opinions, they will start to relax into a more assertive style.
This brings us to the fifth and most widely successful communication style, the assertive communicator. These individuals are no-nonsense contributors who call it like they see it. They are overall reasonable, accepting and goal-oriented communicators who say what they need to say without coming across as pushy or pushovers.
For more advice on how best to communicate with your team, contact the staffing experts at Verum Technical today.