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Understanding Communication Styles: What’s Yours? Part II

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

If you read my previous blog post, you learned about passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive communicators. This second and final part of this two-part blog series about communication will discuss assertive communicators and the fluidity of communication styles.

“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens through conversation.”

– Conversational Intelligence® by Judith Glaser

Assertive Communicators 

Assertive communication allows an effective and healthy way to express yourself. This type of communicator still takes into consideration the needs of others while also encouraging an open and honest dialogue. The following behaviors are typical of assertive communicators:

  • The ability to express desires and needs with confidence
  • Encouragement of balanced conversations that allows both people to have a chance to speak
  • The use of “I” statements
  • The ability to say no
  • Maintaining good eye contact
  • Confidence

After learning more, you might already know what type of style you utilize. An important thing to note is that communication is fluid – you might communicate at work differently than you do with friends and that is fairly common.

The development of communication styles typically begins with how a person makes choices and decisions. If you are unsure of how to determine your communication style, the DISC model can be useful. This is a wonderful tool you can utilize in getting to know yourself better. By learning how to better know yourself, you can increase your self-awareness skills. It’s important to be aware of our “blind spots” and unfulfilled needs as these usually are presented through acting out or what would be considered “bad behavior.” The D-I-S-C model “consists of four quadrants” that correspond with the letters. See below:

  •     Dominance/Driver: Focuses on results and the bottom line. 
  •     Influence/Inspirational: Focuses on relationships and influencing or persuading others.
  •     Steadiness: Focuses on cooperation, honesty, and reliability.
  •     Conscientiousness/Contemplative: Focuses on competence, quality, and expertise

There is a link between communication styles and success and in reflecting on successful people 

in the world today, typically three common traits come up – a sense of self-awareness, confidence in being within one’s own skin, as well as confidence in one’s own purpose in life. If you can communicate well, you will have an easier time relating to other people, thus, you will feel more connected to others. 

What are your behavioral tendencies and personal needs and what does this say about the way you communicate with others?

To be able to get what you want in life, regardless if it is related to family, friends, work, health, finances, etc., you must be able to communicate. Powerful communication results in learning your own needs and figuring out how to express them properly and clearly, while also taking into consideration the messages that you receive from other people. If you can change the way you communicate, you will be able to change your life in positive ways.  

The good news is that communication is a skill that can be “learned and improved” upon. Ideally, you can utilize assertive communication to create healthier interactions and relationships with others. If you don’t know how to do this, there are plenty of talented clinicians at Symmetry Counseling that can help you learn and build the tools. Connect with us online or give us a call today at 312-578-9990 to get paired with a Chicago counselor.

Retrieved from:

Christian, L. (2019). The 4 communication styles: How behavioral traits affect communication. SoulSalt. Retrieved from:

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