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Communication Style Evaluation: An Essential Manager Skill
Communication is one of the greatest challenges leaders and managers face. The style in which the leader communicates influences the satisfaction levels of those they are communicating with such as patients and employees. Each individual should be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses in order to optimize effective communication.
When evaluating my own personal communication style the following are the answers to the Communication Style Evaluation.
- In a social situation I prefer to listen. I do not always feel confident in social situations if I do not know the members of the group.
- I like to use many descriptive terms when speaking. This gives me confidence that the group understands what I am trying to convey.
- I prefer cause and effect situation opposed to creative ambiguous dilemmas. I feel more comfortable discussing straight forward facts.
- I prefer to be alone rather than be with others. I feel like I get more work accomplished without outside distractions.
- I prefer to make decisions alone but like to hear and consider input from others. I like to make final decisions alone based on others input.
The communication style summarized by the communication style evaluation is more passive communication than the assertive communication needed for effective workplace communication. This is shown by a preference to listen instead of engaging in conversation, wanting to be alone rather than with others and making decisions outside of the group setting. The personal communication style is an analyzing style type shown by a detail-oriented and logical thinking that works best alone. (Hanke, 2009). In order to communicate effectively, the identified areas need development in order to change the communication style to an assertive communication style.
The areas that require the most development to change the passive communication to assertive communication style are engaging with other people and talking and participating more in group situations. Although it is important to listen while communicating, as a leader, you need to be able to share your views in order to communicate effectively. This cannot be accomplished unless you are willing and comfortable to converse with the group. Actively engaging in a group environment will help to develop the skills needed to deal with different personality types. Development of assertive communication skills will influence listeners to take action, avoid misinterpretation and build stronger team relationships (Jelphs, 2006). Developing the skills to work and make decisions with others builds communication, reducing the time it takes to take action and make changes (Hanke, 2009)
There a number of methods to aid in improving communication styles and delivery of effective communication skills. One of the most useful resources is peer review. Asking for feedback from peers can be difficult for both parties but using a blind feedback form can give high-quality results. Peers are invited to provide feedback and comment upon your performance as a leader. They comment on a number of attributes and skills and the effect that they feel these have on the organization and individual relationships (Jelphs, 2006). Another useful tool is to video tape yourself and analyze it using known effective communication styles. Examine the facial expressions, eye contact, and tone of voice for confidence (Hanke, 2009). You can also use an audiotape in order to hear what other people are hearing. By being aware of your communication style and being open to changing, everyone can develop improved communication.
Hanke, S. (2009, May). Communication styles: what is your impact on others? Professional Safety, 54(5), 22.
Jelphs, K. (2006, March). Communication: soft skill, hard impact? Clinician in Management, 14(1), 33-37.