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Business Communication Styles

Business communication is a type of interaction between people about professional activities. Business communication always has a definite goal, which the interlocutors try to achieve during the conversation. In addition, during such communication there is an exchange of information, knowledge, experience.

Examples of business communication are relations between colleagues, a manager and subordinates, business partners, competitors, the head of an organization and representatives of regulatory bodies, a manager and an owner of a company. Moreover, any business communication has a certain style, which determines the choice of communication methods and methods to achieve the goal of the conversation.

What it is?

Styles of business communication are certain sustainable sets of communication methods or actions that are aimed at obtaining a result. The style of business communication is a kind of mask or a developed model of behavior, thanks to which the participant in communication not only tries to achieve the intended goals, but also reinforces his self-image as a good leader or a highly skilled specialist.

This is a kind of ritual, the rules of which are known to all participants in advance. These settings must be adhered to.

Factors influencing the formation of style:

  • personality traits;
  • skills in business communication technology;
  • specific situation of communication (communication with colleagues, supervisor, subordinate, partners).

Style classification

Consider briefly the basic typology of business communication styles.

Classification of K. Levin

The typology was created on the basis of research and experiments conducted in the 30s of the twentieth century by psychologist Kurt Levin and his students, aimed at identifying management styles. According to this typology, three styles of business communications are distinguished.


The main characteristic of this style is the one-man decision-making by one participant in communications. Moreover, these decisions concern not only the issues of the activity of the subject, but also common with other participants in the activity. With this type of communicative interaction, one participant acts as the subject of interaction (defines the goals of communication and independently predicts its results), and the other as an object (authoritarian influence is directed at him).

This style is distinguished by autocratic communication, when all actions are dictated by only one person, the rest of the parties do not participate in the discussion even of issues relating to themselves, the initiative is not encouraged. An authoritarian style is implemented through dictatorship and constant control. With the manifestation of disagreement from the objects of influence, prolonged conflicts arise.

Adherents of this style suppress the manifestation of initiative, creativity, and independence in other people. They only evaluate other people based on their own subjective opinions.


This type of interpersonal business communication involves the orientation of the subject of communication to a communication partner. Characteristic features of the style are the desire for mutual understanding, acceptance of a partner, joint discussion of problems and finding ways to solve them, trust, stimulation of initiative and creativity, creation of conditions favorable for self-realization. The main methods of influencing a partner in such an interaction are a request, motivation to complete a task, recommendation.

People who implement a democratic style of business communication usually feel satisfaction from their professional activities, are positively inclined towards partners, evaluate them adequately and strive to understand their goals, and have the ability to anticipate the results of interaction.


The liberal style of communication is intermediate between the two previous ones. The subject of communication in this case is extremely minimally involved in dialogues and joint activities with other participants, but only in order to shift responsibility from oneself to other people. He communicates quite formally, without trying to understand the essence of the issue. The basis of this style is non-interference, due to a lack of interest in common problems.

People who implement this style of business communication constantly fluctuate, show indecision, try to shift decision-making to others. Fuzzy goals, lack of control, passivity and disinterest make business communication uncontrollable in this style.

The socio-psychological climate in the team when implementing such a pattern of communication is likely to be unstable with periodically occurring latent or overt conflicts.

Classification of styles by S. Bratchenko

  • Authoritarian - the subject of business communication strives for constant dominance, suppression of partners. This style is inherent in: lack of desire to understand partners, “communicative attack”, lack of respect for other people's opinions, demand for consent from other participants, stereotyping of communication.
  • Dialogic style involves equal communication, based on trust, mutual understanding and respect, openness and cooperation, emotional expression and self-expression of all participants in communication.
  • Alterocentric. It is focused on the systematic concentration of attention by the subject on other participants in business interaction, the sacrifice of their interests in order to satisfy the aspirations of partners.
  • Manipulative involves the use of communication partners to obtain their own benefits, that is, other participants in the communication act only as a means of achieving the goals of the subject of business relations. With this style of business communication, the desire to understand a partner can have a specific goal - to obtain information about his intentions and use it in his interests.
  • Conformal style involves the focus of the subject of communication on imitation, submission, adjustment to the partner, unwillingness to be understood.
  • Indifferent style is a practical complete rejection of business productive and diverse communication and an attempt to replace it with a quick solution to only business problems.

Classification by L. Petrovskaya

If the two previous classifications used the individual psychological characteristics of the subject of communication as a guideline, then in L. Petrovskaya, the main factor determining the types of styles is the situation of communication itself. According to this classification, the following styles of business communication exist.

  • Ritual style, which is based on a common intergroup communication. The task of the partners of such communication is to satisfy the need for belonging to any group, sphere of relations, maintaining social ties. With this style of interaction, the partner acts as a necessary element for the performance of the ritual, and its problems, interests and personal characteristics are not taken into account. Ritual communication is most common in organizations with a stable team, whose members have known each other for a long time.

Meeting at work, they discuss the same problems every day. Sometimes you can even predict who and what will say in the next moment. And this state of affairs is quite satisfactory for everyone, and many at the end of the working day experience a sense of satisfaction from the fact that they are members of a certain team.

  • Manipulative communication genre involves the use of each other's partners as a way to solve certain problems. At the same time, partners are trying to demonstrate to each other the advantages and attractiveness of their goals, so that the partner helps him achieve them. The winner in this interaction is the one who better knows the art of manipulation. Manipulative style is not always bad. This is how many tasks are solved.
  • Humanistic communication style is based on the ability of partners to understand, empathy, empathy and the ability to put themselves in the shoes of a partner. Such communication does not set business goals and follows from a specific situation. It is auxiliary in solving professional problems, helps to establish contacts and build relationships.

This is the most humane type of communication of all considered, based on mutual suggestion - the participants in the interaction are trying to convey to each other that there must be trust between them. But this style of interaction is inappropriate if it is used in its purest form.

In addition to the considered classifications of official-business communication styles, there are other typologies: S. Sheina, V. Latinova, V. Kan-Kalika.

You will learn 5 important business communication rules from the next video.


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