Business Communication Styles
Whilst we would never consider any style of communication either right or wrong; having strong effective styles within your business will undoubtedly benefit morale amongst your workforce.
It is widely acknowledged that effective communications help businesses engage and motivate employees so that they have the right in house talent prosper and grow. Employing the right business communication styles in your business can also help avoid conflict in the workplace, whilst reducing employee errors, maintaining employee retention and improving efficiencies.
Here’s our list of communication styles for your communications leads e.g. executives, managers and corporate affairs, to consider adopting (if you’re not already doing so).
An assertive style of communication helps communication leads eg executives, managers, and corporate affairs, clearly express their thoughts and feelings with employees with greater confidence, simplicity, authority and openness. It is important not to be overly confident because this might also be seen as slightly aggressive, but assertiveness can include the following positive stylistic characteristics:
- Inspiring body language – Employees can be motivated by open gestures and direct eye contact from superiors.
- Good manners – Leaders should offer common courtesy to all employees; it will help promote team work and collaboration amongst your workforce - whilst also setting a good example to your lower level employees.
- Controlled speech – Leaders who speak in a calm and controlled style, but also in an assertive manner, give workers confidence whilst also creating a respectful, measured and pleasant working environment for everyone in your office or business site.
- Reasonableness – Leaders should communicate reasonable requests of employees and clients based on their skills and role to prevent hostilities in the workplace.
Try to avoid aggressive and passive styles of communication within your business because both can have a detrimental effect on morale in a working environment. Aggressive communicators tend to adopt a demanding and intimidating approach to sharing information with employees, often leading to a bullish working environment and a resentful workforce. We would characterise passive communicators as any employee who avoids conflict by not expressing their real feelings and expressing anger passively, and this style of communication can be problematic if issues in the workplace are not being dealt with effectively.
Be open and honest
A really effective style of communication amongst communication leads is an open and honest approach aimed at making employees feel trusted and supported by your business. You might want to consider adopting the following tactics:
- Openly share information about your business with employees on a regular basis so that they feel empowered.
- Clearly state what you need an employee to do and by what date – this can be best communicated in a 1-1 or in a clear written brief.
- Deal with any issues in the workplace as soon as possible and in a direct manner. If you have any problems with a co-worker clearly express how you feel, provide examples of what’s occurred and state what you want to happen over a coffee or in a 1-1 meeting.
- Always ask your employees for their take on a business situation or office matter before making a judgement.
It’s essential that communication leads can share business information in a variety of different communication styles due to the everyday demands of modern working environments. Different styles include delivering an uplifting motivational speech, to more sombre disciplinary actions in a private meeting, crisis communications or sharing complex information in a written email. The best approach to adopting a versatile approach to communications is often life and professional experience, but another option is to help your leaders through informal role plays with external trainers or HR experts.
Everyone has their own style of communication based on individual personalities and, again, through what we’ve all learnt through life and professional experiences. It is important, however, that your key communicators are mindful and can adopt a style which portrays the culture and values of your business.
If you have leaders who need help adopting different styles of communication for varying situations and messages in line with your culture, this may become a problem for your business as their career matures in your organisation. You might want to consider putting them onto a training course to help them prepare communications
Useful links and resources
Blake and Moutons Managerial Grid – Learn more about this highly reputable style leadership model about its views on communications styles.
University of East Anglia: Internal Communications Writing and Style Guide
Huffington Post - Clear and Effective Communication Techniques for Women in the Workplace
Forbes – How to manage generational differences in the workplace