Are You an Aggressive Communicator and Why that Matters

This article is a continuation from “Improve Decision Making by Using the Right Communication Style” where I identified that there are 4 ways to communicate when the conversations get difficult or uncomfortable. This article will help you identify whether or not you are an aggressive communicator and help you understand why that matters!

Why Communication Style Matters?

If you see that your meetings are ineffective; that few decisions are being made; that there is no follow-through on decisions that are made; that there are problems holding people accountable; that people are kept on your team long after it has been determined they should be let go, you have issues that require a change in communication style!

How to Recognize the Aggressive Communicator?

An aggressive communicator is perceived as someone that is more concerned about self than about others. The aggressive communicator has an agenda, and will make that agenda happen regardless of the ideas, opinions or feelings of others. Such leaders may realize afterwards that they were too aggressive, but the damage is done.

When you communicate aggressively toward a colleague, their reaction (and of others who witness the exchange) is usually negative (resentful, angry, hurt, etc.). You may even go back to them and ask if they were okay with your aggressive style, but do not expect an honest response. If the person did not address you at the time, they are either passive-aggressive or passive communicators and just want to avoid a confrontation with you, particularly if your position of power is superior to theirs!

The aggressive-style leader will almost always get compliance from subordinates, but often at the expense of long-term loyalty, enthusiasm, and motivation. In extreme situations, a highly aggressive leadership style can result in other negative outcomes, such as passive-aggressive behaviors, resentment, alienation, dissatisfaction, high turnover rates, sabotage, and in some cases litigation (e.g. hostile work environment).

How the Aggressive Communicator Handle Performance Problems?

When you have a direct report that is not performing, the initial response is to be sarcastic, hurtful and use threatening comments.  You believe to motivate people you have to show them you are better than them, others were much better than them, that the work that they did was inferior, give them crazy goals that no one can accomplish, and tell them they will not make it at the rate their going. Nothing you tell them is helping them understand how to perform or indicating you want them to succeed. In fact, they most likely you are going to hurt their career if they stay on your team and they cannot possibly succeed on your team.

How the Aggressive Communicator Is Viewed

Why would we accept an aggressive communicator? First and foremost, they may leave a lot of dead bodies behind them, but they get things done. They are known for being task-motivated, hard chargers, goal-oriented, and there is no doubt what to expect from them. Many times aggressive is a tone set from the top and the leader may like and encourage others to be just like them.  In their mind, they see this is the only way things get done! So the more people like them…the better.

If you are interested in learning about the other three styles please visit:

  1. Are You an Passive Communicator and Why that Matters
  2. Are You a Passive-Aggressive Communicator and Why that Matters
  3. Are You an Assertive Communicator and Why that Matters

Call Howard Shore for a FREE consultation at (305) 722-7213 to see how an executive business coach can help you run a more effective business or become a more effective leader.

Business Coach, Communication, Leadership