Is an aggressive communication style always bad? Preparing for our most recent tele-coachinar on communication styles I recognized that much of the information about aggressive styles or dominant personalities is presented using fairly negative words.
Or is it that I interpret these words as negative? Here is a list, what do you think?
(Or continue reading below.)
Of course I have a bias. So do you. We all come from different perspectives and different styles. These styles are shaped by our personality type, our preferred behavioral styles, how we deal with conflict and our cultural and emotional backgrounds.
So where I come from the words used to describe an aggressive communication style do appear to be negative. And yet, although we all have a preferred style, we do all tend to use different styles at different times. This is smart and strategic. To be flexible with your communication style allows you to address others in a way that they find comfortable. When you are able to put others at ease, you increase the chances of getting your message across.
To be flexible with your communication style means to acknowledge that each communication style has value. So an aggressive style is NOT always bad. In fact there are some very positive words associated with a more aggressive approach:
- Results driven
- Making quick decisions
- Problem Solving
There are definitely times when you do not want your communication to put people at ease, you might want to make them jump. I frequently think of it this way, in times of battle, military personnel follow orders that are delivered quickly, decisively and aggressively. Delivering orders by taking consensus and gathering opinions will get you and everyone around you killed.
What are some other less dramatic reasons to communicate in an aggressive style?
If you see someone about to slip and fall, aren’t you going to warn them quickly and loudly and using very direct language?
If you or your team works with heavy machinery or chemicals or electrical components, I hope you will aggressively communicate the safety procedures.
You might use an aggressive approach to inspire competition. Perhaps you want your team to get into a competitive mode to succeed against another company or to encourage creativity in new product design or in problem solving.
It’s all about using the right style in the right situation.