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What is your managerial communication style?


As a manager you communicate in a specific manner to your employees.  Your communication style can fall within different managerial approaches but in this article I will focus on the two most common styles, namely the classical and humanistic managerial communication styles.  I will first explain the more formal classical style.

A manager who has a classical managerial (authoritarian) communication style:

  • communicates through formal communication media such as oral and/or written and visual communication and very little face to face discussions.
  • creates but also uses opportunities to make the long and short term goals of the business clear using these formal communication media.
  • changes 'unacceptable’ attitudes and opinions by shaping new ones through manipulation.
  • diminishes fear and suspicion because of misinformation or misinterpretation of the right but unclear information.
  • communicates numerous rules to employees.
  • prevents or corrects misunderstanding from lack of information and prepares for and adjusts to change.
  • provides mostly negative comments when  employees are evaluated for performance.
  • rewards and punishes employees.
  • speaks to the employees from the top not allowing much feedback or opportunity for feedback.
  • is task-oriented and does not concentrate much on the individual doing the task.


A manager who has a humanistic communication style:

  • encourages, supports and motivates employees
  • has well developed reward and communication systems in place
  • believes in participatory decision-making
  • follows employees-centered supervision and control approach
  • has a participatory problem solving approach
  • shares a common corporate culture
  • establishes role expectations and standard operating procedures (but only after discussing it in the teams)
  • speaks with the employees on all levels and not only from the top.
  • does not only use formal communication media to address employees but also  speak to employees face to face.
  • has an open-door policy, meaning employees are always welcome to discuss any problems they might have.
  • considers both the task and the individual doing the task and not only the task.

Some managers follow a mixture of both communication styles.  Do you recognise your managerial communication style?

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