9 Tips to Describe Your Communication Style in 2020


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9 Tips to Describe Your Communication Style in 2020

In 2018, 19.1% of people with a disability found employment in the US. 

People with disabilities are a big part of the workforce. And we want to help keep it that way by helping you make a slam dunk on your next interview. Today, we're doing so by helping you learn how to describe your communication style.

Successful communication with coworkers, managers, and customers is one of the most essential qualities a prospective employee can have today. Do you know your communication style?

If not, that's okay. Because today we're guiding you through the 4 different styles of communication. Check out this guide and learn what your communication style is plus how to use it to your advantage during an interview. 

1. Learn about the 4 Different Communication Styles

Before you can learn what your communication style and how to describe it to potential employers, you need to understand a few things. First, you need to know what the 4 different styles of communication are.  

Passive

Passive communication styles make use of indifference and yielding during communication. That's why you'll often find passive communicators saying, "It doesn't matter to me." 

You can recognize a passive communicator by their lack of eye contact, inward-turning body posture, and avoidance of the word "no."

Aggressive

The polar opposite of passive communicators is the aggressive communicator. Aggressive communication styles are characterized by loud tones, lots of demands, and high levels of personal confidence.

Aggressive communicators tend to use phrases like "I know I'm right" or "It's my way or the highway." They also value constant eye contact and may make use of criticism, threats, or attacks to get their way.

Persuasive

Persuasive communicators are sometimes hard to spot. They present outwardly like a passive communicator. Yet when pushed, they may behave more aggressively. 

Examples of this come from a persuasive communicator's common phrases like "Fine, but don't be surprised when someone else disagrees with you." Persuasive communicators tend to communicate with body language what they're feeling rather than saying it with words.

Other characteristics of persuasive communication styles include:

  • The cold shoulder after disagreements
  • Talking negatively behind your back
  • Sabotaging others' efforts under the auspices of helping

Assertive

Assertive communicators attempt to be communicative while not overbearing. Their goal in any conversation is to make sure all sides win. It should be no wonder, then, that the critical component of an assertive communication style is balance. 

An assertive communicator might say, "We can all express ourselves equally and respectfully." Assertive styles also utilize "I" statements. This helps these communicators accept responsibility for their own feelings without applying blame to the other party. 

2. Discover Your Communication Style

Now that you understand the 4 different communication styles, you should examine which category you fall into. Communication styles are often most apparent during an argument. So, when considering what your communication style is, think about your most recent debate.

Did you defer the other person, allowing them to dominate the argument? You might be a passive communicator.

On the other hand, were you the one dominating the argument no matter the cost? Then you may have more of an aggressive communication style.

Did you agree with the person you argued with, only to turn around and do the opposite of what you said you'd do? You're probably a persuasive communicator. 

Or did you listen to the person you were arguing with, trying to understand their side before sharing yours? If this sounds more like you, then you might have an assertive communication style. 

3. Understand that Communication Styles aren't "Bad" or "Good"

Part of being able to describe your communication style is being confident in it. And that means knowing that there is no single "good" or "bad" communication style. Instead, there are good things and bad things about each communication style.

For example, passive communicators tend to downplay their own feelings and often fail to get what they want or need out of a conversation. Yet they're one of the most comfortable kinds of people to be around because they're so accommodating. 

4. Identify Your Communication Style's Strengths

If you're a passive communicator, here's what you do best:

  • Listening
  • Friendliness 
  • Respect

As an aggressive communicator, your strengths are:

  • Brevity
  • Articulation
  • Confidence

For persuasive communication styles, positive qualities include:

  • Body language
  • Listening
  • Self-awareness

Finally, assertive communication styles showcase desirable features like:

  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Respect

5. Apply Your Communication Style to a Successful Workplace Conflict in the Past

Once you've identified your communication style's strengths, think of a real-life situation that supports your conclusion. This will go a long way in proving to potential employers that you understand how your communication style successfully contributes to the workplace. 

But don't stop there. You need to be ready to field an interviewer's questions about your weaknesses, too.

6. Identify Your Communication Style's Weaknesses

Passive communicators aren't very good at:

  • Confidence
  • Self-awareness

Meanwhile, aggressive communicators see problems with things like:

  • Empathy
  • Listening 

And persuasive communicators run into issues regarding:

  • Authenticity
  • Confidence

Lastly, assertive communicators could be better at:

  • Brevity
  • Body language

7. Create Your Communication Style Script 

When the inevitable interview question about communication styles comes up, you should have a script prepared. The script doesn't have to be a word-for-word description. But definitely know what you'll say about your communication style's strengths and weaknesses. 

And yes, you heard us right: don't minimize the downsides. Potential employers will love hearing about the excellent communication skills you have to offer. But they'll really appreciate it if you can also identify the aspects you need to work on and admit your willingness to do so.

8. Practice Your Communication Style Script

That age-old adage "Practice makes perfect" has been around forever for a reason. While it may feel silly at first to practice talking about your communication style, it'll help you smooth out the bumps and stutters before you head into your interview. That way, you can describe your communication style with confidence. 

9. Describe Your Communication Style with Confidence

When you head in for an interview, your potential employer is going to ask about your communication style. And with the script you've prepared using this guide, you can confidently tell them what you're good at and what you need to work on. As long as you say it with confidence, you'll be one step closer to scoring that job!

More Employment Tips

As a person with a disability, you feel confident that you can describe your communication style at your next interview. To line up your next job interview where you can show off your new skills, check out Jobs at Disabled Person