Classification of Communication Style
Communication style is related to the behavior of parties involved in interpersonal communication. Communication process involves two or more parties and the parties behave differently at the time of their communication. Communication Style refers to the specialized set of behavior of the communicator’s in a given communication situation. Batenan and Zeithaml have identified the following six Communication Styles:
- Controlling style
- Egalitarian style
- Structuring style
- Dynamic style
- Relinquishing style and
- Withdrawal style.
The styles are briefly discussed below:
Controlling style: The controlling style is a form of one way communication. It is used to direct others and gain their compliance. Managers using this style usually do not want feedback and they tend to employ power and even manipulation to highlight their message. This style can be effective when respected individuals use it on occasion, particularly in times of crisis.
Egalitarian style: The egalitarian style is a form of two-way communication that involves sharing information rather than directing behavior. It is used to stimulate others to express their ideas and opinions in order to reach a mutual understanding. In most situations, particularly when cooperation is needed, it is more effective than the controlling style.
Structuring style: The structuring style of interpersonal communication is used to establish schedules or impose organization hierarchy. Managers using this style would be likely to cite company standards or rules.
Dynamic style: The dynamic style is a high energy approach that uses encouraging request to motivate another person to take action. This style can be effective in crisis situations. However, it is generally ineffective when the receivers do not base enough knowledge or experience to take the required action.
Relinquishing style: The relinquishing style is courteous rather than directive. It is amiable to the ideas of others. In this style of communication, the manager delegates the responsibility of communication to the receiver. For example, a manager using this style might allow his subordinate to discuss and develop the final solution a problem while making little comment.
Withdrawal style: The withdrawal style is similar to lack of communication. By using this style, managers try to avoid using their influence and indicate a disinterest or unwillingness to participate in the discussion.
It can be concluded that each of the above styles of communication has unique features. Different individuals use different communication styles in different situation. A communicator should understand that some styles are more effective than others in certain situation.