A key to success for every leader is good communication. Many talented and gifted leaders fail to get others to follow them because of their bad communication style. The good news is, every leader can work on developing a winning communication style.
Before we talk about a winning communication style let’s briefly look a three communication styles which do not serve a leader well if any one of them is the leader’s preferred style. Keep in mind that the communication style you model for you followers is what will become the culture of the organization.
Passive communication style. Passive communicators avoid expressing feelings, opinions and standing up for or defending their rights. They have the tendency to allow others to disrespect and take advantage of them because they are afraid to speak up fearing they will not be liked. This communication style generally results from low self-esteem.
The passive communicator has the tendency to outwardly let things go while their negative emotions continue to build inwardly. Suddenly they have an explosive outburst that may seem overblown in regard to issue at hand. This is the leader who appears to be getting along well with everyone, who does not have anything negative to say about anyone. However, suddenly she’ll get upset about something seemingly small, call everyone to account, start accusing followers of not doing their work effectively and efficiently, and demand to start seeing changes immediately.
Aggressive communication style. The aggressive communicator takes no prisoners. He wants to be in control and will take control with total disregard for his followers. The aggressive communicator is verbally and emotionally abusive, and may also be physically abusive. He does not care about the rights, opinions and feelings of others unless they can in some way serve his purposes of being in control.
The aggressive communication style is also generally born out low self-esteem. The difference here is that, unlike the passive communicator who does not think she is worthy; the aggressive communicator is often driven by fear to protect himself. This may stem from past emotional or physical abuse and the feeling of powerlessness.
Leaders with an aggressive communication style are those who are always right; you do things their way and don’t even think about challenging their opinions. They may invite the opinions of others but generally do not take them.
Passive–aggressive communication style. With this approach the leaders appear passive, but inside they are reacting with anger and resentment. They agree with what others are saying but have no intention of doing what is asked or following through with what they promised.
The passive-aggressive leader is one who feels stuck, resentful, angry and too afraid to speak up honestly about what they are thinking and feeling. So they appear to agree and understand what is being said, but inside they are full of anger and resentment.
This is the kind of leader who always appears to be understanding and cooperative but does nothing about the issues you are concerned about. They often appear pleasant and inviting, but they only appear nice so you cannot see how angry and resentful they are. Often the object of their resentment is not you; it may something or someone from their past or present.
Perhaps you recognize yourself in one of the above styles of communication. I suggest you ask one or two people close to you to honestly tell you how you come across when communicating with others. And start paying attention to the way you communicate.
Next week we will take a look at the winning communication style that will offer you a better, healthier way of communicating.
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.