Communication Styles

At Ozford, it is imperative that best practice in communication is top of mind, regardless of whether you are a student, educator agent or even the mailman. Great communication is an important part of how we ensure that we deliver a high standard of education. 

For students, communicating ideas through the written medium for assessments and exams, will need to be clear, concise and to-the-point, devoid of extraneous waffle. Start with the basics of what it is that you’re wanting to communicate, dot points are fine, and build up your words from there. Always ask yourself, “Who cares?” To scrutinise your own writing this way will reduce textual tangents… or, waffle! 

What would traditionally be included in a blog about communication styles, would generally cover well-worn buzzwords like; dominant, passive, assertive, conscientious, steady and even, dare I say it, passive aggressive. Each of these terms are self-explanatory, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what these mean… or do you?  

Everybody perceives information differently. For neuro-normative people, you will have less of a chance of missing something in an email or through a verbal instruction given to you from say a colleague or manager. However, people with conditions such as autism, ADHD and schizophrenia for example, will process that information differently. How differently? This will vary according to the individual’s unique barriers and their personality. 

Other ways that communication can be perceived differently, is when someone is under immense stress. Stress leads to anxiety and in turn, this will have a big part to play in how we receive and process information, and we needn’t even be on the neurodiversity spectrum. 

In contrast to this, when someone is made to feel that they are heard, respected and valued, they will construe information better and prove to be more productive. What we need to remember, is that we all get busy from time to time, we all get stressed out and it will no doubt happen again, right when we don’t need it! 

It’s essential to tailor your communication style to the individual or individuals you’re communicating with. When speaking to somebody with a condition such as autism, colloquialisms, sarcasm, and jest will less likely be construed. In this case, a person giving instructions will need to be clear, literal and not assume that your quips won’t fall on deaf ears. 

Similarly, in stressful situations, speed becomes the worst enemy of communication. It may seem as though the information goes in one ear and comes out the other, particularly, if many people are speaking at the same time.  

When communicating pertinent information, it is best to take a breath, slow down and divide the requests up into small coherent lexical morsels. It may be that individuals need extra help, and extra 3time and perhaps foresight is needed to get certain points across in certain situations. 

Have a think about what styles you’ve adopted, whether you tailor your communication to align with the recipient, and then consider how you could improve upon these. After all, at Ozford, we’re all about improvements that lead to great success! 

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