Communication styles



Download 27.95 Kb.
Date conversion14.11.2017
Size27.95 Kb.
COMMUNICATION STYLES

ANALYTICAL: Information is conveyed by sharing theories, principles, & data such as facts, figures, and dates, with emphasis on the general rather than the specific. The assumption is that issues are best understood through theoretical analysis that is supported by “facts.” (What’s the principle? What are the facts? Where’s the data?)

in contrast to

EXPERIENTIAL: Information is conveyed by sharing stories, metaphors, allegories, & examples, with emphasis on specific experiences rather than theories or facts. (What does it mean? What’s an example?)
DETACHED: Issues are discussed “calmly” & “objectively,” conveying the speaker’s ability to weigh all factors impersonally. (If it’s important, it shouldn’t be tainted by personal bias. Let’s have a rational conversation.)

in contrast to

ATTACHED: Issues are discussed with feeling & emotion, conveying the speaker’s personal stake in the issue & the outcome. (If it’s important, it’s worth getting worked up over. How can you not care?)
INTELLECTUAL CONFRONTATION: Disagreement with ideas is stated directly, with the assumption that only the idea, not the relationship, is being attacked. (We’re just arguing – don’t take it personally!)

in contrast to

RELATIONAL CONFRONTATION: Relational issues & problems are confronted directly, while intellectual disagreement is handled more subtly & indirectly. (Be authentic about your feelings and respectful of others’ ideas.)

LINEAR: Discussion is conducted in a straight line, developing causal connections among subpoints toward an end point, stated explicitly. Low reliance on context: common in “low context” cultures. (Cut to the chase! Where the rubber meets the road.)

in contrast to

CIRCULAR or CONTEXUTAL: Discussion is conducted in a circular movement, developing context around the main point, which is often left unstated. High reliance on context: common in “low context” cultures. (You can’t understand unless you know the full story. The present & future are rooted in the past.)
LOW SCAN: Information is gathered from the statements made by the speaker, which are meant to be taken at face value. The speaker is responsible for making the meaning clear. (What you see – or hear - is what you get! Say what you mean & mean what you say!)

in contrast to

HIGH SCAN: Information is gathered about multiple elements in the context & scanned to derive meaning. The listener – not the speaker – is responsible for determining the intended message. (What you see – or hear – is NOT necessarily what you get. Always read between the lines!)
DIRECT or CONFRONTATIONAL: Meaning is conveyed through explicit statements made directly to the people involved with little reliance on contextual factors such as situation & timing. Communicators are using “low scan.” If there is a disagreement or conflict, the communicators are “honest” & don’t “beat around the bush.” (Tell it as it is!)

in contrast to

INDIRECT or NON-CONFRONTATIONAL: Meaning is conveyed by suggestion, implication, nonverbal behavior, & other contextual cues, or through third parties. In the case of a disagreement conflict, statements intended for one person may be made within earshot to a different person or made to a close friend of the person with whom the communicator is having the conflict, with the understanding that the 3rd party will convey the person’s concerns. (Do your best not to risk making someone feel badly.)

(Adapted from Janet & Milton Bennett, 2000)

Communication Styles Continuum



LOW CONTEXT (LC CULTURES) HIGH CONTEXT (HC CULTURES)

Analytical…………………………………………………versus…………………………………………….Experiential

Theories, principles, & data such as facts, figures, & dates Stories, metaphors, allegories, & examples

What are the facts? Where’s the data? What’s the theory? What does it mean? Give me an example.
Detached…………………………………………………..versus……………………………………………….Attached

Calm & “objective” – impersonal weighing of all factors Feeling & emotion, personal stake in issue



Let’s have a rational conversation How can you not care?
Intellectual Confrontation…………………………………versus………………………………Relational Confrontation

Disagreement with ideas is stated directly; ideas are at stake Relational issues are addressed; relationship at stake



We’re just arguing – don’t take it personally! Be authentic about your feelings and respectful of others’ ideas.
Linear………………………………………………………versus………………………………..Circular or Contextual

Communication in straight line from point A to B. Main point clear. Communication develops context for main point - may be implicit.



Cut to the chase! Where the rubber meets the road. You can’t understand unless you know the full story.
Low Scan…………………………………………………..versus……………………………….………….…High Scan

Information is gathered from verbal statements taken at face value. Information is gathered from multiple elements in the context.

The speaker must make the meaning clear. The listener must determine the meaning of the message.

What you see (or hear) is what you get! What you see (or hear) is NOT necessarily what you get.


Say what you mean & mean what you say! Always read between the lines!
Direct or Confrontational……………………………………versus…………………….Indirect or Non-Confrontational

Explicit statements made directly to the people involved using low scan. Relies on suggestion, implication, nonverbal clues, & 3rd parties.

Communicators are “honest” & don’t “beat around the bush.” Communicators are “respectful” and “polite.”

Tell it as it is & if s/he can’t handle it, too bad. Do your best not to risk making someone “lose face” or feel badly.


Communication Styles Role Plays



LOW CONTEXT (LC CULTURES) HIGH CONTEXT (HC CULTURES)

Analytical…………………………………………… versus………………………………………………Experiential

Theories, principles, & data such as facts, figures, & dates Stories, metaphors, allegories, & examples



What are the facts? Where’s the data? What’s the theory? What does it mean? Give me an example.

Role Play Example


A: Is illegal abortion common in Mexico? E: Yes. I know several people who have had abortions here.

A: But what is the data? How many people have illegal abortions every year, & how does it compare to the U.S.?

E: I don’t know because most people don’t talk about it until you really get to know them, but it’s pretty common. (Turn back)

A: But where is the proof? How do you know what the data is? (Turns back to E.)

E: (To self – out loud) Man, I just told her I knew a bunch of people who’d had abortions. Why doesn’t s/he listen?)

A: (To self – out loud) Man, s/he doesn’t know anything!


Detached…………………………………………………versus……………………………………………….Attached

Calm & “objective” – impersonal weighing of all factors Feeling & emotion, personal stake in issue

Let’s have a rational conversation How can you not care?

Role Play Example


D: What do you think of the war in Iraq? A: Well, no one likes war, but the U.S. had no choice – we had to teach the terrorists a lesson!

D: I know that’s what a lot of people say, but do you have proof that Iraq is involved in terrorist actions?

A: You stupid liberals! Don’t you get it? The U.S. is in danger! Lives are at stake! Who can wait around for all the proof you want?

D: Well, I think it’s important to look at this from various angles and gather all of the facts. I think the U.S. should have done that before waging war.

A: (To self – out loud) Wow, you can’t have a rational conversation with her!

B: (To self – out loud) Wow, I can’t believe s/he doesn’t care about terrorism!



Intellectual Confrontation………………………………versus……………………………Relational Confrontation


Disagreement with ideas is stated directly; ideas are at stake Relational issues are addressed; relationship at stake

We’re just arguing – don’t take it personally! Be authentic about your feelings and respectful of others’ ideas.

Role Play Example


I: You know, I don’t agree with your position on capital punishment. I think you’re wrong.

R: Well, I guess you think you know it all! You are so opinionated!



  1. Don’t you want to discuss it? I’d like to hear your reasons for holding such a position.

R: Why bother? You obviously don’t care about me.

I: What are you talking about? I thought we were talking about capital punishment. Why are you taking this so personally?


Linear…………………………………………………versus………………………………….Circular or Contextual


Communication in straight line from point A to B. Main point clear. Communication develops context for main point - may be implicit.

Cut to the chase! Where the rubber meets the road. You can’t understand unless you know the full story.

Role Play Example


L: What brought you to Cuernavaca? C: Well, about 10 years ago, I ….. And then I …. But later ….. So then…

L: (Turns back to C & says out loud to self): All I asked was a simple question. I wasn’t asking for her/his life story!

C: (Turns back to C & says out loud to self): S/he asked me a question, but I guess s/he doesn’t want to hear the answer.

Low Scan……………………………………………….versus……………………………….………….…..High Scan


Information is gathered from verbal statements taken at face value. Information is gathered from multiple elements in the context.

The speaker must make the meaning clear. The listener must determine the meaning of the message.



What you see (or hear) is what you get! What you see (or hear) is NOT necessarily what you get.

Say what you mean & mean what you say! Always read between the lines!

Role Play Example

HS: I see that you’re planning to use the van. LS: Yes, I signed it out.

HS: I see. So I guess you really need it. LS: Well, I was planning to use it.

HS: Oh. Okay. LS: Why, do you need it or something?

HS: No, no. That’s okay. (Turns back.) LS: Fine. (Turns back.)

HS: To self – I can’t believe s/he didn’t realize I need it!

LS: Hm. I thought s/he needed it, but s/he said s/he didn’t, so I guess not.


Direct or Confrontational………………………………versus…………………….Indirect or Non-Confrontational


Explicit statements made directly to the people involved using low scan. Relies on suggestion, implication, nonverbal clues, & 3rd parties.

Communicators are “honest” & don’t “beat around the bush.” Communicators are “respectful” and “polite.”



Tell it as it is & if s/he can’t handle it, too bad. Do your best not to risk making someone “lose face” or feel badly.

Role Play Example (I = Host mom & D = student who came home late the night before)


I: Did you like supper? D: No, not really. I’ve never liked eggs.

I: Oh, I see. By the way, you must be really tired. D: Yeah, kind of.



I: So, I guess you had a good time last night. D: Yep, we danced until 4 a.m.

I: You know, it can be dangerous to stay out late at night. D: Oh, do you want me to come home earlier?



The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2017
send message

    Main page