Everyone has their own style of communication. We all express our opinions and needs differently. When you are a new graduate or a student on clinical placement it can take time to figure out the best way to communicate with co-workers and those in your care.
There are three main styles of communication – passive, aggressive and assertive.
Assertive communicators are:
- respectful of your needs and the needs of others
- able to communicate their opinion effectively
- direct and to the point, and
This is the most effective style of communication. It enables you to contribute to discussions and maintain boundaries while being respectful to others. It’s a diplomatic communication style that co-workers and patients will respond well to.
Passive communicators are:
- shy and don’t stand up for themselves
- overly accommodating and rarely say no, and
- usually overworked and stressed.
Passive communicators have trouble expressing opinions and feelings and can become resentful.
- disrespect the needs/opinions of others
- may be identified by others as a bully
- don’t listen to the opinions of others
- humiliate or intimidate others when they speak up
- use closed and hostile body language, and
- are not approachable.
Aggressive communicators think their needs are more important than the needs of others or the team.