As an organizational therapist and ardent observer of human behavior, Twitter is a fascinating social phenomenon. Actually, I find all of the social media networking is a great lesson in communication styles, and enjoy speaking about it.
It appears to be far easier to spit out 140 characters than to take the time and work on clear and concise communication no matter the style. No one appears to judge you on such small sound bites.
However no matter what the delivery system, it sometimes seems that folks just don’t understand the importance of what they say. People can forget how important their words are. Every time we speak or write or text, your meaning should come across. Some individuals may not understand; that may be just how they “are.” But more often than not, the problem is a result of a communication breakdown.
In this digitally inter-connected world, you’d think we could “fix” such basic differences. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as plugging another device into the system. Maybe they’re the problem. Maybe you are.
We all know difficult people – and, in fact, we can all be the difficult person. Every time we are speaking, writing, texting or even communicating with our bodies, we choose and use one of four basic communication styles: assertive, aggressive, passive and passive-aggressive.
The most effective and healthiest form of communication is the assertive style. It’s how we naturally express ourselves when our self-esteem is intact, giving us the confidence to communicate without games and manipulation.
When we are being assertive, we work hard to create mutually satisfying solutions. We communicate our needs clearly and forthrightly. We care about the relationship and strive for a win/win situation. We know our limits and refuse to be pushed beyond them just because someone else wants or needs something from us. This may be a clue as to why Facebook, Twitter, and quick social networking sites are so popular. Everyone can choose an assertive form of communication.
To learn about your typical style of communication or how we use a combination of the four styles read more about it on Connie Podesta’s Communication Styles.
Remember, you always have a choice as to which communication style you use. If you’re serious about taking control of your life and building a meaningful and purpose driven life, practice being more assertive. It will help you diffuse anger, reduce guilt, and build relationships – both personally and professionally.
Begin to pay attention to which communication styles you use throughout the day. How often do you use a communication style other than assertive?