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Communication Style, Essay Example

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Essay

Communication is two-way process of reaching mutual understanding in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas, and feelings but also create and share meaning (BusinessDictionary.com). Two of the communication styles are aggressive and assertive communication styles. Individuals with aggressive communication style honestly state their opinions, feelings, and wants without worrying about others’ feelings. Individuals with aggressive communication style may come as rude, demanding, and intimidating. Individuals with assertive communication styles also honestly state their opinions, feelings, and wants but in respectful manner so as not to offend others (Healthwise, 2011).

Apple’s legendary co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was a great example of an individual with aggressive communication style. Steve Jobs’ aggressive communication style was known to alienate people he came into contact with, even strangers such as police officers and retail workers. Jobs was also known to call his subordinates shitheads (Austen, 2012). The behaviors associated with aggressive communication style include the belief that only I am right and everyone should be like me. Individuals with aggressive communication style are also poor listeners, often interrupt others, and have difficulty seeing the other person’s point of view. They also tend to be bossy and rare show appreciation towards others (Sherman).

Individuals with assertive communication style include leaders such as Tony Hsieh of Zappos whose personal philosophy is that happy workers are also productive workers. Examples of behavior displayed by individuals with assertive communication style include the belief that everyone is important and being an active listener. Other behaviors displayed by individuals with assertive communication style are being self-aware, having realistic expectations, willing to trust others, and being non-judgmental (Sherman).

The communication style which best reflects my behavior is assertive communication style. I do not hesitate to express myself but I am also willing to listen to others. I believe that one of the most effective keys to ensuring cooperation from others is to listen to them and respect them. I also believe that people have different experiences so one has no right to judge others. I also believe in clear communication because it avoids misunderstandings which is why I avoid passive communication style. I consider myself pragmatic and analyze the situation carefully. When I deal with others, I carefully look for non-verbal cues so that I do not make anyone feel uncomfortable. I have high self-confidence but I also believe one cannot achieve everything by himself/herself Thus, it is important to know how to work with people and gain their trust and respect.

I am satisfied with my communication style but there is always room for improvement. One of the ways I can improve my communication style is by taking more efforts to learn about others’ background such as cultural, social, and professional backgrounds. Different cultures have different norms and appropriate social behaviors, thus, knowing about the background can help me avoid things that may make others uncomfortable. Another strategy may be to regular seek confirmation from the speaker that his/her message has been understood just as he/she intended. This will send the message to the speaker that I am paying attention and consider him/her worthy of importance. This will improve the speaker’s cooperative attitude and trust towards me.

Different people have different communication styles and their behaviors often provide useful clues into their preferred communication styles. As Steve Jobs’ example shows, certain communication styles may be beneficial in some organizations. Thus, the speaker may benefit from taking into account factors such as organizational culture, personality of the audience, and the issue at hand before deciding upon a communication style.

References

Austen, B. (2012, July 23). The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale? Retrieved November 28, 2012, from http://www.wired.com/business/2012/07/ff_stevejobs/all/

BusinessDictionary.com. (n.d.). Communication. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/communication.html

Healthwise. (2011, April 20). Communication Styles Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-center/communication-styles.aspx

Sherman, R. (n.d.). Understanding Your Communication Style. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/sba/comm_style.htm

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