I recently conducted a personal survey to find out my face-to-face communication style. There are nine dimensions of communication style, which include; dominant, dramatic, contentious, animated, impression leaving, relaxed, attentive, open and friendly (Robbins, 2008). My survey results revealed that I had above average scores on attentive and friendly communicative style dimensions. This means I listen attentively to other individuals and am encouraging to them. Being attentive and friendly are positive qualities.
This translates to an optimistic view of life and valuing others and their opinions. I am considerate, helpful and can compromise my interests in favor of others. Attributes that I scored below average are being dramatic, contentious, relaxed and ability to leave an impression. This means I am not argumentative and do not verbally exaggerate a story to leave an impression on those with whom I engage in a conversation. However, I am frank, approachable and often use gestures or facial expressions. Taking charge of situations or being dominant are not high in my communication style score.
Practical application of the skill, ability or attribute
An environment where others’ needs come first like the healthcare sector is suitable. Good face to face communication skills are essential in this sector. I would be a good fit but not in a leadership role as my ability to take charge of situations is not high. This is evident in my below average score in the dominance dimension. Dealing with sick people requires one to be pleasant, friendly and empathetic to the patients which are attributes I possess. A customer service job is also a right fit due to my friendly, attentive and open communication style. The concern for the general wellbeing is an attribute employees dealing with the public should have.
I aim at improving on the communication style traits that I had a below average score. They include dominance in social situations, dramatizing stories and a relaxed way to converse. This I can accomplish by practicing to speak with an enthusiastic and assertive tone. My responses should be clear and show confidence. Beating around the bush should be something I should avoid and focus on speaking directly. One’s body language counts as much as what one is saying (Trikha, 2013). Body language should convey an assertive message. Showing commitment to a conversation can be done by asking questions. This clears up misunderstandings and gives accurate responses. I should also improve on eye contact, which conveys the, animated dimension of communication style. It also communicates assurance and confidence. Engaging in contentious situations will help in improving my argumentative nature which I am poor at. This is essential in most careers and leadership opportunities.
Noting how I communicate to others is the first step to improving my communication style as a whole. Focus on my weak areas and improving on them is the second step as I have previously noted. Patience is imperative in this self-improvement process as it cannot happen at once. Identifying areas and opportunities where I can improve communication are vital. Feedback from my friends helps me rate myself and my progress. A journal can also be helpful in tracking my progress and evaluating my self-improvement. In case I find this difficult there are options like programs, assistance templates or professional counselors. There are also other online tests to find out any weaknesses or strengths.
Robbins, S. (2008). Self Assesment Library 3.4: Insights into your skills, interests and abilities. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Trikha, R. (2013, May 28). 10 Simple Tricks for Improving Your Communication Style - On Careers (usnews.com):. Retrieved from money.usnews.com: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/05/22/10-simple.