Handling Workplace Challenges: Different Communication Styles

I am developing an online course on workplace communication skills, and thought I would share the first lesson: Handling Workplace Challenges: Different Communication Styles.

You’ll learn how to use strong communication skills for handling the first of five of the most common workplace challenges.

Introduction

No matter how much you love your job or your team, you will likely experience some workplace challenges from time to time. 

Workplace challenges can surprise you in the form of a difficult boss or coworker. They may frustrate you in the form of miscommunications or disagreements. Or, some workplace challenges may even be caused by your own mistakes. 

Communication lies at the heart of many workplace challenges, and effective communication is the key to managing and improving them.

Let’s take a look at the first of five of the most common workplace challenges.

Different Communication Styles

The Challenge

Many communication problems can be traced to a common source: differences in communication styles. In other words, different people may share, receive, and process information differently.

While the content of the message remains the same, different communication styles can change how well it is received. That can lead to misunderstandings and potential conflicts.

How to Handle It

If it feels like you and a boss or coworker are speaking different languages, try changing your communication style to meet theirs.

  • Do they focus on action items and goal setting?
  • Do they like to know the facts?
  • Are they people-oriented?
  • Is it important that they understand the big picture?

Identify their communication style and mirror it.

For example, if your supervisor prefers action-oriented communications, then use bulleted action items in your emails.

If your colleague is highly analytical, then support your ideas with concrete evidence.

Your message can stay the same, just change how you package it. 

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