Let's talk about your communication style.
But before we dive in, let me ask you this:
When you think of your group of friends, do you label one as the “boss”, another as the “artist”, another as the “athlete”? You probably have your own labels. Even if you don’t, chances are your friends have applied one label or another to you.
The way people label you is directly correlated with the way you speak and act. In other words, it has to do with the way you communicate.
The good news is that you are in control of your communication style, and thus how people label you. The bad news is that you will be judged on not only what you say, but how you say it.
So the next time you are tempted to throw a hissy fit when you don’t get your way, or to bark orders, or suck up to someone… think again. Is this really the type of communication style you want people to remember you by?
In this blog post we’ll look at a few common communication styles, which will give you a basis for thinking about your own communication style and how you would like people to label you.
Now’s the time to grab a warm beverage and get cozy. Maybe even pull out a pen and paper, while we’re at it. I think you’re going to like this one.
Today we’re looking at 6 common communication styles.
Many people have a primary style and secondary style and you may even have a tertiary style if a situation calls for it.
As you make your way through this lesson, I encourage you to figure out which are you primary, secondary and tertiary communication styles.
And here’s a bit of great news: your communication styles are not set in stone. We believe in the growth mindset here at Explearning, which means we are always looking for ways to improve on the things we’re struggling with, and that includes our communication styles.
Also, be sure to stick around to the end, where I go into the communication styles you’ll want to improve on if you’re an entrepreneur or career-driven individual. Which is basically all of you.
Okay, so on to the six communication styles:
The fighter communication style is as it sounds. This is when the person tends to be aggressive with what they say and how they say it. They tend to be combative and seem as though they’re spoiling for a fight. They love stirring the pot, so to speak, and make sharp jabs at others, even though they frame it as “just a joke.”
Watch out for aggressive nonverbals in body language and tone of voice. Another major giveaway is the use of sarcasm.
Don’t confuse the fighter style with someone who is standing up for their beliefs. You can stand up for what you believe without doing it in a combative or aggressive way. The fighter is more interested in asserting their dominance than representing what is important to them.
In literal terms, a trailblazer is someone who goes into the woods and opens up new paths for other people to walk on. It’s hard work and most people using the trail don’t even realize the path has been cut for them.
In the context of communication styles, the trailblazer is a leader. It is someone who is confident, committed, and ready to sail in uncharted territory to achieve their goal. A trailblazer tends to employ assertive language that demonstrates their poise and responsibility.
Whereas the fighter attacks people, the trailblazer lifts people up. And they’re inclusive of people. For example, if they notice that one person in the conversation has not been able to speak, they’ll invite them to share their thoughts.
You’ll find that trailblazers tend to be more direct and straight shooters. They say what they mean, and they mean what they say. There’s not much beating around the bush or walking on eggshells.
We’re big fans of trailblazers at Explearning. They tend to be a good force for humanity. So, we hope to foster more of them and we’ll actually be diving a little deeper into the assertive communication trailblazers employ in a future video.
The pleaser is essentially a sycophant. They are predisposed to going along with everything and are highly susceptible to groupthink. Their goal is to please someone they deem influential in order to better secure their own status. To do so, they put themselves first, and will willingly pretend to be nice, to agree, or to be impressed, if they think it’ll garner favor for them. Some easy ways to spot a pleaser is when someone is giving compliments that lack genuine sincerity. They also appear submissive and rarely express an opinion of their own. Watch out for the pleaser because they might be working their charms on you without you even noticing!
The empath is a wonderful person to be around. They are active listeners and communicate with empathy. This is a person with whom you are free to express your private thoughts and personal stories. You can tell them about shameful or embarrassing experiences without fear of judgment. They’re the people we turn to when we need comfort. They have big hearts and they wear it on their sleeve. Most importantly, they seem to “just get it”, whatever it is you are expressing. This is because they understand what you are feeling, even if they don’t understand why you feel it. The world needs more empaths, so I highly encourage you to foster this part of you!
The hog is someone who always makes everything about themselves. They like to express their opinions or concerns without listening to others. They come off as narcissistic and self-absorbed because they use a lot of “me” language. But they’ll the be the first to point fingers if they have an issue with something…because of course, they’re not to blame…duh.
Watch out for when a hog says they had a boring time. That usually is an indication the conversation wasn’t about them. So, they tend to seek out social situations where they are the center of attention.
You can think of the hog as the person with the loudest voice in the room. They like to think of themselves as the alpha. And what happens when there’s another alpha in the room? You can bet your last dollar they’re going to duke it out for that primo spot.
The final communication style we’ll discuss is the harmonizer. This communication style is all about seeking equilibrium. They are the peacekeepers of the social situation. During the heat of an argument, they won’t take sides. Instead, they focus on diffusing the situation. They can see all sides of a conflict and their goal is to reach consensus. They talk people off the ledge. They might be soft spoken, but they can also be quite magnetic in nature. In many ways, they are the opposite of the fighter, so they can be handy to have around when you have a tough conversation coming up.
So there you have it: a few of the most common communication styles. Let’s quickly recap:
- The fighter is aggressive and ready to do battle.
- The trailblazer is assertive and inclusive.
- The pleaser will say anything to curry favor with their target.
- The empath is the person who always gets you and makes you feel better.
- The hog is only happy when the subject is themselves.
- And the harmonizer seeks equilibrium and consensus.
Now remember, people are complex beings. Many of us have multiple communication styles that we use depending on the context. The trick is learning what styles you are most predisposed to, and which you want most to express. The right combination can have a huge positive impact on your wellbeing and career.
Speaking of which, here’s your bonus insight: in the professional arena, the three communication styles that will get you furthest are empath, trailblazer, and harmonizer. They don’t have to be in that order and in fact, I encourage you to think about which of those will be your primary, secondary, and tertiary style. And only you can decide that because you know your life and you know your needs. But communication styles that emulate these categories will ensure you get the respect, admiration, and love that you deserve.
Now that you have a better understanding of our common communication styles, I’d love to hear what you think. What communication styles do you hope to get better at? Which do you think are most important for the health of your relationships and overall happiness?
Share whatever is on your mind with us in the comments below.
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With that, have an awesome week, Explearners.
Thank you so much for joining me and I’ll see you next time for your next Explearning lesson.
Happy Explearning ⚡