Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Communicate Openly and Directly Part 5

The Passive- Aggressive Style
This style of communication combines the desire to avoid face-to-face interaction (passive) with the desire to "win" and control the outcome to get one's own way (aggressive).  It is usually done behind the other person's back and is seen primarily as deceitful and dishonest.  This communication is almost always done "undercover" and secretively with an intent to manipulate people or teach them a lesson.  It is damaging and dangerous because it destroys the team environment and the trust and respect needed to facilitate assertive communication.

The person who uses passive-aggressive communication/behavior incorporates some or all of these tactics:
  • May not offer ideas or opinions in order to control or hide information
  • May tattle or gossip about others
  • May seem supportive on the surface but actually criticizes people and their ideas behind their backs
  • Enjoys seeing others' ideas fail
  • Likes to get people to take sides against another person, policy, or idea
  • Is the exact opposite of the open, honest communicators that organizations need today 
In Conclusion
  • We can now recognize the communication styles and behaviors that we and others are using.  We can also choose the style we want to use in each situation and commit to building skills for more open, honest, and assertive communication.
  • Most people communicate without much forethought or planning, content to say whatever comes to mind.  Unconscious communication is about "reacting" rather than about making proactive, conscious choices.
  • We all need to take greater responsibility to think about the best way to demonstrate assertive communication and behavior in both our personal and professional lives.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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