Communication Style Self-Assessment

Quite simply, some people just seem to 'have it' don't they! They communicate in ways that make us want to perform for them.  They inspire us to be the best we can be, even when it means doing things we'd rather not.  We listen to these people, we respect them and accept 'feedback' even when it contains things we might not want to hear about ourselves.  

So, what's their secret?  What about the rest of us?  Why do we sometimes not get the communication results we desire?  

This questionnaire is designed to help you assess your preferred communication style. Thinking about your behaviour at work, read each statement and indicate which best typifies your behaviour where:

1 = disagree strongly, 2 = disagree somewhat, 3 = agree somewhat, 4 = agree strongly

  1. I express my opinions honestly, openly and appropriately all of the time.
  2. I can get angry and am comfortable letting this show.
  3. I find it difficult to say ‘no’.
  4. If I do not agree with a task I’ve been given, I find a way of dragging my feet on it.
  5. If someone knows more than me I feel comfortable in asking for help from them.
  6. I feel guilty if I leave on time for a valid reason and other people are still working.
  7. I can be sarcastic.
  8. I think my way of doing things is better than other people’s.
  9. If someone takes advantage of me, I find a way of getting my own back.
  10. I feel I have a right to say no to other people’s requests and to negotiate a compromise.
  11. If I am in a large meeting, I find I do not speak up.
  12. I like to be in control of a situation.
  13. If the situation dictates, I can stare people down.
  14. I make good eye contact with other people.
  15. If I am unsure about a given task, I find it uncomfortable to ask for help.
  16. I have been known to talk about other people behind their backs.
  17. When I have to deal with someone in authority, I find it difficult to look them directly in the eye.
  18. I am a good listener and equally other people listen to what I have to say.
  19. Rather than confronting someone about an issue, I would rather give them the cold shoulder or drop hints to other people that I am not happy.
  20. I am not afraid to be direct with someone, even if they think I am being rude.

Before taking a look at the results of your quiz, let’s familiarise ourselves with the different styles of communication.

There are two parts to our chosen communication style:

  1. How direct we are in expressing our views, wants and opinions – some people can be very direct or blunt and others less so – we might imply or infer.
  2. The thought or consideration that the sender of the message gives to the opinions, wants and needs of the recipient. Put simply, some people can be very thoughtful and others thoughtless.

In psychological terms each participant in the communication process ends each communication as either a winner or loser.

The Drama Triangle

Aggressive

  • I am direct in expressing my needs, desires and opinions giving little or no thought to other people’s.
  • In this communication style, psychologically, the aggressive communicator wins but the other communicator loses.

Passive Aggressive

  • I indirectly make sure that others are aware of my needs, desires and opinions and give little or no thought to theirs.
  • Using this communication style, psychologically, the passive aggressive communicator wins but the other communicator loses.

Passive

  • I do not express my needs, desires and opinions directly and I put others’ needs above my own.
  • Using this communication style, psychologically, the passive communicator loses and the other communicator wins.

Assertive

  • I clearly and directly express my needs, desires and opinions in a way which is considerate of others.
  • Finally, in this communication style, psychologically, we end in a win, win scenario, for both sides within the communication process.

Please answer all the questions above to see your score

Your highest score represents the communication style you tend towards most of the time, in your working environment. Even if the highest score is ‘Assertive’, (which is where we want to be) pay attention to your next highest score, especially if it is within 2 points.

There is no right or wrong answer. But, we do need to be aware of other styles we may tend to use as others are judging us, constantly. Sometimes, depending upon current stress levels, we can lapse into another communication style even without becoming aware of it. We do this through our choice of words (both written and spoken), our tone of voice and our body language.

New Line Ideas offers practical, implementable solutions that can help both you and your team achieve much greater effectiveness in the area of communication, whether within teams, across hierarchies or in customer and client contact.

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