5 Styles of Communication in Business

5 Styles of Communication

According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, a pain management specialist, there are five styles of communication—not just one. This article will go over these five different styles, how to make them work for you, and the work they do for your relationship.

Some communication styles might be more realistic than others, but each style has its benefits and downfalls. Depending on the person’s personality or communication needs, some might be more beneficial than others. For example, a conflict-avoidant person would benefit from a passive-aggressive style of communication that uses sarcasm or indirectness to avoid confrontation or conflict.

For certain situations, however, certain styles are not helpful, such as when someone is being belligerent and aggressive towards you at an office meeting where there is no time for any more talk other than cutting straight to what you want to be done.

5 Styles of Communication

1. Passive-aggressive

This style is characterized by passive behavior and a lack of emotional involvement in the conflict. The other person will never know how the individual feels about what is happening. The result of this style of communication is that it is usually perceived as being indirect, mysterious, and sometimes manipulative. The individual might make every effort to remain passive and not be aware of how others perceive them, but the fact is that everyone can see through this type of behavior.

2. Aggressive

This style is characterized by verbal, psychological, or physical actions meant to hurt or injure someone. This is often done to get one’s way and usually harms the situation at hand for both parties involved.

3. Empathetic

This style is characterized by empathetic reactions to others’ feelings and needs. The individual pays close attention to others and understands their needs. The idea behind this is not to be controlling or manipulative while at the same time being able to give an appropriate response to someone else’s feelings. This communication style is often seen as a positive form of communication since it accomplishes giving the other person what they need from you.

4. Inspirational

This communication style is characterized by an individual’s ability to inspire others and motivate them to do better. This type of communication often leaves the person who gets it feeling empowered, energized, and more capable than ever. They may even feel like they can change the world with the little piece of knowledge that they learned from the individual who inspired them.

5. Intellectual

Intellectual communication is a style characterized by the belief that the best way to resolve conflict is to talk and share ideas in a well-informed manner. This communication style is often used in conflict resolution to communicate facts and opinions without worrying about feelings or emotions getting in the way.
Dr. Jordan Sudberg states that for your communication styles to be effective, sometimes you need to pick and choose what kind of communication style works best for you and your situation. You also need to pay attention to whether or not different styles of communicating work better on other people or if you are suited better towards one style rather than another.


Digital Editor

Regi is a writer, journalist, and editor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Guardian, The Week, Salon, The Daily Beast, VICE, and The Hairpin, among others. She is currently working on two novels.

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