Five communication styles

Introduction

These were developed by Virginia Satir, ie blaming, placating, thinking, leveling & distracting (John Hale, 2020)

It is important to understand these when communicating with others during change processes.

1. Blaming (finding faults in others; aggressive; never accepting responsibility or accountability for their own words or actions, ie always blaming somebody else; usually initiate conflict; use postures like leaning forward, finger-pointing - see below)

blaming.jpg



2. Placating (non-assertive; out to please; always seeking approval; avoiding conflict; open to others'it points of view. Their main concern is how other people perceive them. Use a lot of open hand & arm gestures - see below)

placating.jpg




3. Thinking (displaying few emotions, ie will hide their true feelings; they can appear cold and unfeeling. Their typical posture is one armed folded across the chest holding the elbow and other hand under the chin and eyes looking upwards - see below)

thinking.jpg



4. Leveling (have emotional balance and can relate to all kinds of people; their words, tone, and body movements and facial expressions send the same message; main posture is characterised by arms outstretched and palms open and facing downward - see below)

levelling.jpg



5. Distracting (can show a range of emotions, usually unexpected by others, to suit the situation so that people are distracted, ie caught "off balance")

distracting.jpg

 

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