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Chapter Three Understanding Your Communication Style.

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1 Chapter Three Understanding Your Communication Style

2 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Chapter Preview: Understanding Your Communication Style Style bias and its effect on interpersonal relations Benefits of understanding communication styles Elements of communication style model Identifying preferred style Style flexing

3 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Communication Style Personality—thoughts, feelings, and actions that characterize someone Communication style—patterns of behavior that others can observe Communication style is an important aspect of personality

4 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Communication Style Understanding your style…. –achieve greater self-awareness –develop more effective interpersonal relations –greater sensitivity to and tolerance for others’ styles –essential for managing key relationships self another person member of a group

5 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Fundamental Concepts Individual differences exist and are important –i.e., use of gestures, assertiveness –each person has unique style –identify by careful observation

6 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Fundamental Concepts Differences tend to be stable –Jung’s Psychological Types –born with disposition that is nurtured and strengthened over a life

7 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Fundamental Concepts Limited number of general styles –four basic styles –similar characteristics within style

8 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Fundamental Concepts A way of thinking and behaving –not an ability –a preferred way of using abilities or style

9 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Fundamental Concepts Productive relationships are developed by being in sync with others –important advantage when understanding others’ –called style flexing

10 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Communication Style Bias A common form of prejudice More likely if the other person has a different style then yours Often not on the same “wavelength”

11 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved What You Can Do? Develop an awareness of your own style Learn to assess the style of others Learn when and how to adapt your own style to theirs “Speaking the other person’s language” is essential for relationship skills

12 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Total Person Insight By knowing our own communicating style, we get to know ourselves better. And we get along with others better as we develop the ability to recognize— and respond—to their styles. Paul Mok and Dudley Lynch Human Resource Development Consultants

13 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Communication Style Model Two important dimensions of human behavior: –Dominance –Sociability Remember: the style model describes preferences, not skills or abilities

14 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved The Dominance Continuum Dominance –The tendency to display a “take-charge” attitude –an important dimension in interpersonal relationships Everyone falls somewhere on the dominance continuum

15 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved The Dominance Continuum more cooperative give advice freely eager to assist others initiate demands less assertive more assertive more willing to be controlled seek control Figure 3.1 Dominance Continuum

16 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Determining Your Preferred Style Step One: –Identify where you fall on the dominance continuum Rate yourself on the Dominance Indicator Form Ask four or five people who know you well to complete it for you

17 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.2 Dominance Indicator Form CooperativeCompetitive Submissive Accommodating Hesitant Reserved Authoritative Domineering Decisive Outgoing I perceive myself as somewhat...

18 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.2 Dominance Indicator Form (continued) CompromisingInsistent Cautious Patient Passive Quiet Risk taking Hurried Influential Talkative I perceive myself as somewhat...

19 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved ShyBold Supportive Relaxed Restrained Demanding Intense Assertive I perceive myself as somewhat... Figure 3.2 Dominance Indicator Form (continued)

20 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Where Should You Be? No best place to be Successful people can be found on all points Both ends are necessary and important at times

21 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Being Flexible Is Important Low on dominance –more assertive temporarily to achieve an objective –learn to be responsive without giving up convictions High on dominance –curb strong opinions and limit demands to establish cooperative relationships

22 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved The Sociability Continuum Sociability –tendency to seek and enjoy social relationships –measure of whether you tend to control or express your feelings

23 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.3 Sociability Continuum Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ. expresses feelings open and talkative enjoys personal associations controls feelings more reserved and formal in relationships

24 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Determining Your Preferred Style Step One: –Identify where you fall on the dominance continuum Step Two: –Identify where you fall on the sociability continuum Rate yourself on sociability indicator form Ask four or five people who know you well to complete it for you

25 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.4 Sociability Indicator Form DisciplinedEasygoing Controlled Serious Methodical Calculating Expressive Lighthearted Unstructured Spontaneous I perceive myself as somewhat...

26 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.4 Sociability Indicator Form (continued) GuardedOpen Introverted Aloof Formal Reserved Extroverted Friendly Casual Provocative I perceive myself as somewhat...

27 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.4 Sociability Indicator Form (continued) CautiousCarefree Conforming Self-controlled Restrained Unconventional Dramatic Impulsive I perceive myself as somewhat... Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

28 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Where Should You Be? No best place to be Successful people are everywhere along the sociability continuum There are some commonsense guidelines to follow if you fall at either end of the continuum

29 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Being Flexible is Important Low sociability –may need to be more expressive to avoid perception of indifference or unconcerned High sociability –may need to curb exuberance if more formal environment is required

30 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Communication Styles Model The model represents four communication styles: –emotivedirector –reflectivesupportive Two factors: –dominance sociability Model will help identify your most preferred style

31 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.5 When the dominance and sociability dimensions are combined, the framework for communication style classification is established. Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

32 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.6 The emotive style combines high sociability and high dominance. Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

33 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Emotive Style Displays spontaneous, uninhibited behavior –Talks rapidly –Uses lots of hand gestures –Expresses views with enthusiasm

34 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Emotive Style Displays the personality dimension described as extroversion –Enjoys being with others –Tends to be upbeat and active –Likes informality –Uses first names

35 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Emotive Style Possesses a natural persuasiveness –Combination of high dominance and high sociability –Finds it easy to express point of view dramatically or forcefully

36 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.7 The director style combines high dominance and low sociability.. Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

37 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Director Style Projects a serious attitude –Communicates a no-nonsense attitude –Often gives the impression he or she cannot have fun

38 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Director Style Expresses strong opinions –Uses firm gestures and tone of voice –Communicates determination

39 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Director Style May project indifference –Finds it hard to abandon formal approaches in dealing with people –Not easy to communicate warm, caring attitude

40 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.8 The reflective style combines low dominance and low sociability. Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

41 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Reflective Style Expresses opinions in a formal, deliberate manner –Never seems to be in a hurry –Expresses measured opinions –Emotional control is a common trait

42 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Reflective Style Seems preoccupied –Rather quiet –Appears aloof or hard to get to know

43 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Reflective Style Prefers orderliness –Uses and appreciates an agenda –Enjoys reviewing details –Likes to make decisions slowly

44 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.9 The supportive style combines low dominance and high sociability. Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

45 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Supportive Style Listens attentively –Good listening comes naturally –Appears patient and caring

46 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Supportive Style Avoids the use of power –Relies on friendly persuasion –Likes to display warmth in written and spoken communication

47 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Supportive Style Makes and expresses decisions in a thoughtful, deliberate manner –Appears low-key in decision making

48 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Identify Yourself? Nobody conforms completely to one style Only one dimension of personality Only deals with behaviors that others can observe May be able to identify the style least like yourself

49 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Variation Within Your Communication Style Communication styles also vary in intensity Model features zones that radiate outward from the center These dimensions might be thought of as intensity zones

50 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Variation Within Your Communication Style Boundary between zones not a permanent barrier Under certain conditions, people will abandon their preferred style temporarily, a process called "style flexing"

51 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 3.10 Communication Style Intensity Zones Source: Gerald L Manning and Barry Reece, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, Ninth Edition, Copyright © Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

52 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Variation Within Your Communication Style Zone I –Display unique behavioral characteristics with less intensity –May be more difficult to identify the preferred communication style –Not be as obvious in their gestures, tone of voice, speech patterns, or emotional expressions

53 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Variation Within Your Communication Style Zone 2 –Display behavioral characteristics with greater intensity –Can sometimes observe behavior change when upset or angry

54 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Variation Within Your Communication Style Excess Zone –Characterized by a high degree of intensity and rigidity –Can also be labeled the "danger" zone –Often inflexible and displays a lack of versatility

55 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Variation Within Your Communication Style Extreme intensity in any quadrant can interfere with good human relations People may move into the excess zone when: –they are under stress or not feeling well –they feel threatened or insecure

56 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Behaviors Displayed in the Excess Zone Supportive Style –Attempts to win approval by agreeing with everyone –Constantly seeks reassurance –Refuses to take a strong stand –Tends to apologize a great deal

57 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Behaviors Displayed in the Excess Zone Director Style –Is determined to come out on top –Will not admit to being wrong –Appears cold and unfeeling when dealing with others –Tends to use dogmatic phrases

58 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Behaviors Displayed in the Excess Zone Emotive Style –Tends to express highly emotional opinions –Is outspoken to the point of being offensive –Seems unwilling to listen to the views of others –Uses exaggerated gestures and facial expressions

59 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Behaviors Displayed in the Excess Zone Reflective Style –Tends to avoid making a decision –Seems overly interested in detail –Is very stiff and formal when dealing with others –Seeks to achieve perfection

60 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Tips on Style Identification Focus on observable behavior –The best clues are nonverbal: Gestures Posture Facial expressions Speech patterns

61 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Tips on Style Identification Determine where the person falls on the sociability and dominance continuums –Your initial impression should not be carved in stone, but should be a continuing process –Different situations will bring out different behaviors

62 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Versatility: The Third Dimension Versatility –acting in ways that gain a social endorsement –making others feel comfortable and nondefensive –independent of style and changeable –can learn other styles

63 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Versatility and Style Flexing Style flexing –deliberate attempt to change or alter style to meet the needs of another person –temporary effort to act in harmony with other communication styles –important in many occupations

64 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Total Person Insight When we speak of interpersonal relationships (as interaction involving at least two people), we contend that no one can do much about what we say and do. And because dealing with others is such a major aspect of our lives, if we can control what we say and do to make others more comfortable, we can realistically expect our relationships to be more productive, or effective, ones. David W. Merrill and Roger H. Reid Authors, Personal Styles and Effective Performance

65 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Strategies for Adapting Your Style Identify the style of the other person Think of ways to flex your style to gain a social endorsement Several style adaptation strategies…….

66 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Flexing to an Emotive Style Take time to build a social as well as a business relationship Display interest in a person’s ideas, interests, and experiences Do not place too much emphasis on details Maintain a fast and spontaneous pace

67 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Flexing to a Director Style Be specific, brief, and to the point Present the facts logically and be prepared to provide specific answers Maintain fast and decisive pace Project strength and confidence Messages should be short and to the point

68 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Flexing to a Reflective Style Be well organized Be straightforward and direct Be accurate and realistic when presenting information Messages should be detailed and precise Speak slowly and systematically

69 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Flexing to a Supportive Style Show a sincere interest Identify areas of common interests Draw out other’s personal goals and views Listen and be responsive Do not be pushy Put priority on relationship building

70 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Style Flexing: Pitfalls and Possibilities If sincere and honest, style flexing can: –help build constructive relationships –be a valuable and productive communication strategy –be especially critical when something important is at stake

71 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved A Word of Caution Do not label others –classify strengths and preferences, not people Do not let your own label become rigid

72 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Strength/Weakness Paradox There is no best communication style –each has unique strong points People have problems when they overextend the strengths of their style Customizing your style can require learning to overcome your strengths

73 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Summary Communication styles –patterns of behaviors, observable to others –tend to be stable throughout a person’s life –unique to each person

74 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Summary Communication style bias –problem in organizations –barrier to good human relations

75 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Summary Communication Model –Dominance –Sociability Communication Styles –Emotive –Director –Reflective –Supportive

76 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Summary Style flexing and versatility are important in dealing with varying communication styles Keep an open mind about people Don’t use labels, typecast or judge


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