What is a communication style?
A Communication Style is a person’s communication patterns and preferences they use in a wide variety of situations.
Unfortunately, doing what comes naturally is not a reliable recipe for success in communicating, which is why I recommend stepping up, taking responsibility, understanding the preferences of other people, and adapting our behavior and Communication Style to other people’s preferences.
Understanding your natural tendencies, strengths, and challenges and adapting to others turns luck into skill which is a much more reliable strategy for communication success.
Here are some quick facts about Communication Styles:
- Everybody (whether they know what it is or not) has a natural Communication Style that he or she uses without thinking.
- You can achieve the best results by adapting your style to the style of the other person(s).
- When you adapt to another person it takes energy because you are doing something that is not natural for you.
- If we’re forced to adapt for an extended period, we eventually run out of energy and revert to our natural style.
- Under stress we tend to revert to our natural Communication Style.
Another characteristic of Communication Styles is that we communicate most easily with people who are most like us.
Conversely, it’s most difficult for us to communicate with those who are not like us and have dramatically different Communication Styles.
It’s also important to know that Communication Styles are situational. When you think about it, you’ll realize that you instinctively adapt your Communication Style depending on where you are or who you’re talking to.
When we’re with friends or family, we probably behave and talk differently than we do at work. When we want to convey something important to someone in any situation—at work or in social situation—we make conscious efforts to adapt and do what will work best in that situation.