• BBC Content Team

Communication Styles in Management

When collaborating with others in the workplace, communication is always present. Despite this, everyone, especially managers, communicate their message in various ways. It is both beneficial for the manager and the employees to understand each other’s communication styles as it establishes a comfortable and predictable work environment.

First and foremost, communicators can be open or reserved. Reserved workers tend to shy away from discussion and do things independently. When employees and managers participate in an open manner, they like to socialize with others, in addition to voicing their opinions and receiving feedback. Communicators can also be direct or indirect. When one is direct, the message is presented as it is with nothing hidden. Unlike this, indirect communication does not necessarily tell the truth to prevent a negative response back.

One communication style is a relator, a combination of open and indirect. These workers are easy going and usually pleasant to work with. Many relators as managers seek to form an informal work setting. When communicating with relators, it is important to include everyone and bring all of your ideas to the table. Along with this, it is helpful when everyone is open to new ideas. Oftentimes, relators will incorporate their personal lives or hobbies into their discussions.

The communication style of a socializer is a mix between being open and direct. They tend to build relationships, however, desire a fast work environment in a playful manner. It is more enjoyable for them to work together than alone. Socializers love to create conversation. If a manager acknowledges their employees are socializers, they could arrange more engaging meetings to the agenda.

Employees and managers who apply a thinker communication style are a combination of reserved and direct. They work diligently and maintain their priority on the quality of their work. Thinkers process the information in their head and analyze all of the fine details. Doing this, results in a slower pace but greater accuracy. Knowing this, fellow employees and managers should be mindful and not rush their decision making.

Lastly, communicators who are directors are reserved and indirect. These types of managers and employees tend to be aggressive and very competitive. They are reliable for getting the job done, however, they often reciprocate different emotions. It is vital to not take anything they say personally as it is just their method of communication.

If managers acknowledge these communication styles within their employees, it can benefit them in more ways than one. Employees will be predictable to the manager if this knowledge is known. In fact, the manager can then help focus on strengths of the employees. For example, managers could initiate conversations with relators or socializers that can get the ball rolling on new projects. For those who are reserved, the manager could present the agenda in a written format that way they can take it in the message in their own space. In addition to this, weaknesses can be addressed to strengthen and grow. This will form a more comfortable work environment, increasing productivity.

If employees can recognize their manager’s communication style, they will be able to better understand their expectations. All managers communicate differently. Being aware can make sure that employees do not overstep their boundaries.

A key role to management is communication. When one does not understand how others communicate, it diminishes their ability to plan and organize their workforce. Mark Murphy, a senior contributor of Forbes Magazine, recognized that, “When you speak and the boss doesn’t hear you, or vice versa, it can greatly hurt your chances of career success”. Tasks can only be completed efficiently if communication is present, otherwise, failure is a given. It is up to the manager to organize and plan based on this knowledge to achieve their main purpose.

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