Identify 4 main communication behaviour and why it is important

the importance of communication

In today’s business world, your work requires not only just academic skills but also skills in resilience and agility at work to handle all kinds of situations and relationships. In this course, you will learn to enhance your communication skills to achieve win-win solutions with the people around you – your bosses, clients, colleagues & family members.


Below are the characteristics of the four main and typical communication behaviour patterns. Three are less desirable and effective at work – passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive. The one communication behaviour that is truly effective at work and positive is learning to be assertive. Included are also key ideas and tips to be more assertive.

Passive and Submissive Communicators

  • Agree to do a task or job but won’t or unable to do the task
  • Won’t attempt to find out the job requirements for completion
  • Constantly apologizing – seldom work on their weaknesses to improve
  • Self-esteem always very low
  • Suppress and concede their own needs, views and feelings to placate another
  • Wait for others to take the initiative – in doing so they lose the ability to make decision
  • Unlikely to find out facts or the actual situation and hence they are quick to blame
  • Defensive body language which “gives” the message that they don’t care much, they are in denial and they fear additional responsibilities
  • Overpromise and under deliver
  • Need to be continuously pushed to get a task done

Aggressive Communicators

  • A tendency to blame everyone
  • Destroy others’ self-esteem by their actions and words
  • Get what they want but in doing so they create a hostile atmosphere
  • Poor listener – no patience to listen
  • Blunt and less consideration for others’ feelings. Like to use threatening language
  • Always tell others what to do – using strong words like should/ ought/ must/will / has to do Adopt a superior and dominant attitude

Assertive Communicators

  • Give opinion honestly and in a straight forward manner without being inappropriate or belligerent
  • Prefer to use “I” statements instead of “You” statements. They use objective terms
  • If they disagree, they will say so but in a way that doesn’t put others down or make others feel they are in the wrong
  • Interested in others’ opinion as well
  • Listen to what you’ve to say even if they disagree
  • Make you feel that they respect your point of view
  • Able to keep their rights without denying others their own. They readily speak out when needs are not met

Passive – Aggressive Communicators

This is a fusion of two seemingly contradictory behaviours, for example, they express “needs & feelings but in an unclear & confusing manner” by including sarcasm, ridicule and insinuations about others

For example, they would say, “I’ve told you my evaluation but clearly, you’re the expert here so just do what you want”


Why People Act Too Passively

  • Lack of confidence or value of their opinions
  • Timid
  • Worry about pleasing others or being liked
  • Worry whether others will disagree or reject their ideas and opinion. They feel insecure
  • Sensitive to criticism or hurt by past experiences when ideas were ignored or rejected

Why People Act Too Aggressively

  • Overconfident or superior feeling – focusing too much on getting their needs met and their opinions across
  • Not respect or consider other people’s views or needs
  • Poor listening skills or how to ask for input from others
  • Use “you” statements, accusations, subjective terms
  • Used to control belligerent individual; otherwise inappropriate within a professional setting

How To Act Assertively (Just Right)

  • Self-confidence
  • Believe in your opinions, ideas or feelings count & matter -have the right to express yourself
  • Resilient – able to deal effectively with criticism, rejection, setbacks
  • Respect the preferences and needs of others
  • Have role models for assertiveness
  • Know your ideas were welcomed as your assertiveness was rewarded in the past

Be Less Aggressive & More Assertive

  • Let others speak first
  • Notice if you have a habit of interrupting others. Catch yourself saying, “Oh, sorry – go ahead!” and let the other person finish speaking
  • Ask for someone else’s opinion, then listen to their answers
  • When you disagree, say so without putting down other person’s point of view. Don’t say, “That’s a stupid idea”. Say, “I don’t really like that idea”
  • Don’t say “He’s such a jerk”. Say “I think he’s insensitive”
  • Give your own opinion or point of view. For example, say whether or not you like a movie or a particular food and be able to explain why
  • Practice using “I” statements for example “I’d like…”
  • “I prefer…” or “I feel…”
  • Remind yourself that your ideas & opinions are as important as everyone else’s. Knowing this helps you be more assertive
  • Assertiveness starts with self
  • Value yourself as much as you value others
  • Find a role model who’s good at being assertive – See if you can imitate and follow that person’s best qualities

Be Less Passive & More Assertive

  • Pay attention to what you think, feel, want, prefer – be fully aware before you communicate them to others
  • Notice if you tend to say, “I don’t know”, “I don’t care”, “It doesn’t matter” when someone asks what you want or they ask for your opinion. Stop yourself from saying the above standard responses of a passive communicator
  • Practice first by saying what you would prefer, especially on things that hardly matter. Then when the important things pop up in your life, you will be able to more confidently express your opinions or suggestions
  • If someone asks, “Would you like green or red?” learn to say, “I’d prefer the green one – thanks”. Learn to state your preference
  • Practice asking for things
  • “Can you please pass me a spoon?”, “I need a pen – does anyone have an extra?”, “Can you save me a seat?”. In this way, you build the habit of asking when you don’t know or unsure about something. This practice of asking helps you to build your skills and confidence for when you need to ask for something more important

Business Communication Training Course

Peak Success Abundance Training provides quality Malaysia business communication training course. In this, volatile & challenging business environment, you’ve to build successful work relationships & interact with people in a positive way to achieve your organisational goals. This training course enables to, discover the key competencies critical to solid work relationships & career success via communication.  

Written by RACHEL KHOR 

Principal Trainer, Peak Success Abundance Sdn Bhd

From Directive Communication International & American Institute of Business Psychology:

– Certification in Colored Brain Communication
– Certification in Human Drive & Motivation
– Certification in Dynamic Speaking
– Certification in Curriculum Development
– PSMB Certified Trainer
– Certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
– Certification in Hypnotherapy from London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH)
– 18 years corporate training experience


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