Improve Decision Making By Using the Right Communication Style

Business Communication and Decision Making

Are you frustrated by the ineffectiveness of many of your business meetings? Do you find that your team cannot seem to make a final decision on seemingly basic business questions? Do the same issues continue to resurface? Does there not appear to be real commitment to the decisions that do get made? Do you make decisions in meetings and find out later that people who did not speak up during the meeting are raising issues about the topic, thus calling the validity of the decision into question. As an executive business coach, I witness these situations to varying degrees on a daily basis in every organization I deal with. What I find frustrating is that business leaders allow these behaviors to continue. I have also found that the solutions can be as simple as using the right communication style.

How Communication Affects Decision Making in an Organization

Using the right communication style can have a positive affect on decision-making and will lead to a more effective decision-making process in your organization. Unfortunately, many leaders in business think they are communicating appropriately and are not. Even worse, others are watching and are not addressing their communication issue; which is another example of using the wrong communication style in an organization. There are four ways to classify communications in which you are tackling challenging situations, and only one of them is effective.

The 4 Communication Styles in Business:

  1. Passive communication
  2. Passive-aggressive communication
  3. Aggressive communication
  4. Assertive communication

You can either be passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive, or assertive. As you have probably guessed, being assertive is the proper way to effectively communicate in business, especially to the employees working below you. Unfortunately, assertive communication is the least common approach used in business when the conversation gets difficult or uncomfortable.

If you see that business decisions are not 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!

The Challenges to Effective Decision Making

I have also observed that the degree of assertiveness a person uses in dealing with people provokes fairly predictable reactions by others; which in turn, helps determine how effective the leader can be within the organization. While your communication is likely situational, most tend to have a recurring style in the way they communicate in difficult or stressful situations. It has occurred to me recently that those organizations that have the biggest challenges with decision-making and follow-through have the fewest leaders using the assertive communication style on a regular basis.

Howard Shore is an executive business coach that has helped thousands of business and corporate leaders improve their communication style to run a more effective organization. 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.