Geekflare is supported by our audience. We may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this site.
In Career Last updated: June 7, 2023
Share on:
Invicti Web Application Security Scanner – the only solution that delivers automatic verification of vulnerabilities with Proof-Based Scanning™.

Learn the different types of communication styles to significantly improve your professional and personal interactions with others.

Communication skill is an indispensable quality that you must grow. It is particularly important if you want to place yourself in a leadership position, like a team leader, manager, etc.

To adapt to artful communication, you must first know all types of communication styles and their characteristics. Keep reading to learn everything you should know to become a master communicator at the office or outside the office. 

What Is a Communication Style?

What Is a Communication Style?

A communication style refers to the unique way in which people express themselves, convey information, and interact with others. It consists of various methods, patterns, preferences, and body language that people use when communicating. The communication style you choose controls how you send and receive messages.

Communication styles can vary significantly from person to person. You differ from your colleague or friend by a multitude of factors such as upbringing, cultural background, personality traits, and life experiences. Accordingly, you develop a communication standard and bring that to the workplace or in other public places.

Why Is It Important to Learn Communication Styles?

The primary reason to learn about several communication styles and how to practice those is to improve your communication skills. If you are preparing yourself for the profession, you must learn different ways to convey the same opinion. 

Suppose you are with your friends and want them to agree to one of your suggestions for the upcoming camping trip. Here, you can speak out loud since the situation is informal, and your friends know you mean no harm. 

Now, come to a formal setup like a business meeting. You want other sales and marketing team stakeholders to consider your suggestion to promote a product. Here, you should not become the loudest voice. To learn how to behave in such a scenario, find out more in the communication style variation section below. 

Types of Communications Styles

There has been much research in this domain to understand, categorize, and organize how people communicate. Perhaps, the most popular model of communication styles that therapists and business coaches follow is the one explained by the American researcher on anxiety Edmund Bourne in his book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. It was published in 1990 and has since then proved to be the gold standard for measuring communication models in the workplace or other professional places.

Find these five different ways to communicate in detail below:


Assertive communication style

The assertive communication style insists you become direct without being rude in conversations. Confidence plays a key role in such a mode of communication. You shall express your thoughts and requirements clearly while listening to others. It is all about balancing out the compromises and agreements.

If you practice assertive communication, you shall not let your emotions affect how you communicate. You will stay optimistic, positive, calm, and focused on finding solutions rather than disputes. Moreover, you listen to everyone’s perspectives but also prioritize your own opinion and wants.


  • Achieve goals without hurting others
  • Respect others’ rights
  • Open to feedback and compliments
  • Moderate eye contact
  • You should be in a relaxed, tall, and symmetrically balanced posture


You submitted a task long ago, but the approver is not acting on it, and you say the following:

“Would you mind checking my submission? I’m trying to stay on schedule.”

Submissive or Passive

Submissive communication style

The submissive communication style is the way to accommodate others’ judgment or say over yours and put your thoughts in the last row. When you communicate passively, you tend to let more assertive or aggressive individuals take charge. 

Because you might dislike conflict, try to avoid debate, thereby hurting others’ feelings about you. Aggressive and passive-aggressive communicators will complement your conversation style. However, people will overlook your opinion and requirements if you do not express these vocally. You might also carry feelings of resentment due to hesitation in expressing your own thoughts, likes, dislikes, and wants.


  • You feel ashamed or apologetic when asking what is due
  • You do not want any confrontation
  • Discounting your own ideas, suggestions, wants, and preferences
  • Soft-spoken
  • Your posture is either twisted or wriggling
  • You avoid eye contact
  • Often try to make yourself look smaller than others by squeezing yourself


Your team leader is discussing a product design with you, and they share their idea. In this scenario, you are saying this: 

“Your idea is great! Anything is okay with me.”


Aggressive communication style

When your conversation has the following tones or words that mean the same things, your communication style is aggressive:

  • Arguments with the other party
  • Trying to intimidate
  • Behaving hostile

When you communicate in this mode, you value your opinion and ideas over everyone in the room. Also, your intention is to win every situation. In most cases, you may not respect everyone else’s rights over the matter you are debating. 

Aggressive communicators disregard the opinions of others. They will immediately bulldoze anyone who tries to assert an independent opinion on the matter. Thus, others feel insignificant, bullied, and ignored when there is an aggressive speaker in the room.


  • The conversation tone is loud, threatening, and hostile
  • Always want to win
  • Pose taller or larger than others in the room
  • Wrinkled foreheads and eyebrows are often brought together
  • Unpredictable behavior, mostly bullying
  • Name-calling


An aggressive communicator is developing a program code with you. You tried to improvise over them, and they say the following:

“Look what you did. You broke the program! I was right all along.”

Passive Aggressive

Passive Aggressive style

The passive-aggressive communication style combines aspects of passiveness and aggressiveness in conversation. People using this style may appear silent and cool on the surface, but underneath, they are truly frustrated. They express such frustration by spreading rumors, becoming sarcastic, gossiping, and trying to show superiority.

Instead of openly expressing their dislike, passive-aggressive communicators work in a covert way. They might try to sabotage your work in stealth mode or spread hearsay among the team that your idea failed. If the team discovers such activities, no one would like to work in the team unless such actors are out of the game. 


  • Aggressiveness is silent
  • Often complaining to others about one’s work or idea
  • Behave politely in front of you
  • Does unproductive criticism in your absence
  • The tone is sweet and calm
  • Facial expression is naive


Your team leader accepted your product design idea. In your absence, the passive-aggressive communicator might say something like this to the team leader:

Jerry’s idea isn’t unique. I saw he copied it from our competitor. Don’t accuse me that I didn’t tip you before implementing this design.  



You shall hide your intentions in the conversation if you follow the manipulative communication style. You clearly know what you need, and you are also capable of making your way. But you will try to trick others into failing them, especially if their goal is the same as yours. Furthermore, you will also prefer to influence others to act in a specific way that helps your objective. Finally, you shall ask for favor or things indirectly.  


  • Intentions are not clear, rarely express the true intentions
  • The tone could be envious as well as patronizing
  • Often express the defeated feeling or helplessness


Your colleague attended a training session, but you forgot. When you asked why they did not remind you, they would say this:

I thought you were not interested in the topic. Also, the trainer didn’t do well in explaining the topic.

Importance of Understanding Communication Styles for the Workplace

Understanding different ways people communicate at work can greatly benefit you. It enables you and your team to collaborate effectively by utilizing communication methods that everyone can understand. When you possess knowledge of and adapt to different communication styles, you can prevent misunderstandings, build stronger relationships, and achieve more together.

In the long run, mastering your communication style holds high value for advancing your career. It enhances your visibility, trustworthiness, and positive influence. Having a clear and effective communication style empowers you to confidently express your thoughts and accomplishments, enabling you to stand out and gain recognition from your colleagues, managers, and decision-makers.

How Does Communication Styles Impact the Workplace Culture

Different communication methods influence the workplace in different ways, and these are as below:

Communication Gap

Communication Gap

A passive communication style will create confusion and result in lost working hours. Your subordinates will not report issues clearly and prefer to suppress those until you investigate. Alternatively, as a team member, you may not get the right support from your team lead until both of you become assertive. 

Uncomfortable to Speak

If someone at the workplace is too aggressive in communication, others would feel uncomfortable around that person. However, team leads, and managers can exercise some aggressiveness when addressing the production, operations, or sales and marketing team that needs motivation.

Conflict Resolution


When mediating conflict resolution between employees or team members, it is important to demonstrate problem-solving skills, empathy, and assertiveness. Avoid using aggressive, passive, or passive-aggressive communication modes during conflicts. Instead, strive to be assertive and tactful, finding a balance that allows for effective resolution while maintaining respectful communication. 

Transparent Communication

When a business organization follows an assertive communication style, you will feel that you know what you need to know. That helps you in feeling positive about the business and deliver the best.

Creating an Inclusive Work Environment

If you promote inclusiveness and respect in the workplace, your communication style will speak for itself. When you actively listen, show empathy, and value diverse viewpoints, it facilitates an inclusive workplace culture. By treating others with respect, regardless of their position or background, you contribute to strong teamwork.

Strategies to Improve Your Communication Styles

Improving your communication style means becoming assertive in the workplace or other public places. Also, you must ensure that you are not discounting your interests in the conversation. Find below some proven strategies you can practice to become an effective communicator: 

#1. Become Self-Aware


Develop an understanding of your own needs, emotions, and communication patterns. Recognize any tendencies towards passivity or aggression and strive to cultivate assertiveness.

#2. Come to the Point Quickly

Practice expressing your thoughts, opinions, and needs in a direct and respectful manner. Use clear and concise language, focusing on the specific message you want to convey.

#3. Listen to Others When They Talk

Give your full attention to the speaker, demonstrating empathy and understanding. Listen actively without interrupting, and show genuine interest in their perspective.

#4. Begin Sentences With “I” a Lot

Frame your statements using “I” to take ownership of your feelings and opinions. For example, say “I feel” or “I think” instead of making accusatory or generalizing statements.

#5. Define Boundaries

Clearly define and communicate your boundaries and expectations. Be assertive in saying “no” when necessary while respecting the needs of others.

#6. Be Mindful of Non-verbal Communication

Closely monitor your body language, tone, and facial expressions when communicating. These must be polite at all costs. Also, maintain good eye contact, use a confident tone, and show flexible body language.

#7. Be a Problem-Solver or Promote the Same


A master and artful communicator will never go deep into the blame game. Instead, you will look for common grounds in the debate and welcome suggestions to resolve the issue. 

There is no way you can undo when someone causes damage to the business. What best you can do is choose an appropriate strategy to minimize damage and restore business outcomes. 

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the five basic styles of communication, it is crucial to develop self-awareness. Also, you must discover your behavioral patterns and individual requirements before communicating with someone. 

Then, try out the assertive communication technique to confidently express your thoughts and requirements from the other party. 

Whether your objective is to grow in your career, stay well, care for the family, or manage finances, effective communication is the key to all these. 

Successful communication does not mean speaking the loudest, having the final say, or evading conflicts. The final say is that you achieve a dialog with the other party and close the deal—be it in a business meeting or house party!

Also, check out these employee communication platforms for your business or team.

  • Tamal Das
    Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
Thanks to our Sponsors
More great readings on Career
Power Your Business
Some of the tools and services to help your business grow.
  • Invicti uses the Proof-Based Scanning™ to automatically verify the identified vulnerabilities and generate actionable results within just hours.
    Try Invicti
  • Web scraping, residential proxy, proxy manager, web unlocker, search engine crawler, and all you need to collect web data.
    Try Brightdata
  • is an all-in-one work OS to help you manage projects, tasks, work, sales, CRM, operations, workflows, and more.
    Try Monday
  • Intruder is an online vulnerability scanner that finds cyber security weaknesses in your infrastructure, to avoid costly data breaches.
    Try Intruder