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23 Types of Communication Style

 , August 22, 2019
A communication style is an approach to communication that an individual adopts in a particular situation. This isn't necessarily an element of personality or character as individuals commonly use different styles in different situations. The following are common types of communication style.

Passive

Avoiding conflict, commitment and meaningful participation. This generally occurs because an individual has no interest in a conversation but is somehow compelled to participate.

Active / Assertive

Intense commitment to a conversation with the motivation to influence others. Remains civil.

Aggressive

The use of negative tactics such as insult. Openly breaks the rules of civility.

Passive-Aggressive

Attempts to insult, deride and intimidate without technically breaking any rules. For example, the use of sarcasm to attack people and undermine their ideas.

Wit

The use of mental sharpness and speed. This can be used in both positive and negative ways. For example, wit can be used to ingratiate yourself with people or to attack them in intelligent ways. Wit almost always beats aggressive or passive-aggressive approaches and is characteristic of fearsome communicators who can dominate conversations when motivated.

Active Silence

In many cases, an individual gets everything they want from a conversation without saying much. The intelligent use of silence should not be confused with a passive communication style.

Analytical

An analytical and facts-oriented approach.

Functional

A systematic approach such as working through a problem with a method or series of steps.

Intuitive

An emotional and back-to-basics style such as appealing to people's underlying motivations.

Interpersonal

Focusing on building and leveraging relationships and establishing social status.

Controller

An individual who wants to control the structure of a conversation such as keeping a meeting on topic.

Originator

An individual who offers creative ideas that may or may not be useful or applicable.

Promoter

The promotion of ideas that you have heard somewhere.

Supporter

Supporting the ideas of others either because you think they are helpful or as a means of building relationships.

Expander

A tendency to continually make the conversation bigger by looking at the big picture. For example, the use of systems thinking to look at broad impacts.

Closer

An individual with a drive to avoid overthinking to come to a reasonable conclusion quickly.

Long-winded

Individuals who talk at significant length. This can indicate either confidence and calmness or insensitivity to the mood of the audience.

Direct

Individuals who feel a pressure to keep their communication short for fear of boring someone or who naturally just kinda get to the point.

Candid

Honesty and openness regardless of the implications, including the possibility of losing face. A cultural element of communication that is common in some countries and uncommon in others.

Face-Saving

A group that avoids embarrassing anyone by talking about difficult topics indirectly such that you must read subtleties to understand. A cultural element of communication style.

Visual

Individuals who excel at communication when they can draw a picture.

Humor

The drive to enjoy a conversation with humor.

Storytelling

Storytelling is the ability to make information interesting with plot, characters and other elements of a story such as drama.
Overview: Communication Style
Type
Definition
An approach to communication that an individual adopts in a particular situation.
Related Concepts

Communication

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Analogy
Barriers
Anticipating Objections
Body Language
Building Trust
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Candor
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Devils Advocate
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Discourse
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Dumbing Down
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Moot Point
Noise
Non-Example
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Feedback
Positive Criticism
Formal Comm.
Rationale
Rhetorical Question
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Storytelling
Informal Comm.
Verbal
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Interactive Media
Internal Comm.
Mass Comm.
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Persuasion
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Social Cues
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