Different social or communication styles cause interpersonal problems, especially because these styles are deeply rooted in personality and culture. Communication styles have two dimensions:

  1. Assertiveness – “Ask-assertive” people are indirect about getting what they want, and speak slowly and softly, while “tell-assertive” people directly insist on getting their way and speak loudly and forcefully.
  2. “Responsiveness” – “Control-responsive” people have a limited vocal range and use few facial expressions or gestures. “Emote-responsive” people have a broad vocal range, use many gestures, and have animated facial features.

The quality of our communication processes [is] central to the experience of conflict.” Ask-assertives or control-responsives may feel bullied by tell-assertives or emote-responsives. conversely, tell-assertives or emote-responsives may feel their counterparts are holding things back or even deceiving them. Translation and adaptation are the solutions to these style conflicts. If you conflict with someone who communicates in a different style, try changing your style. To help others negotiate such conflicts, show the parties how they can adapt.

Read More: Conflict Management Styles