The aim of this study was to empirically support the structure of the communica‐ tion styles within the Social Style model by relating these to personality. The communication styles in the Social Style model consist of assertiveness, responsi‐ veness, and an indicator that represents versatility or flexibility in the use of com‐ munication styles. Prior to communication styles training, 153 participants invi‐ ted a number of co-workers and supervisors to rate their communication styles. We examined the extent to which the communication styles as rated by co-wor‐ kers and supervisors could be explained by a self-report measure of personality. The regression analyses showed that extraversion is the most important predictor of responsiveness. Assertiveness was predicted by extraversion, self-presentation, and agreeableness (negative relationship). Versatility was predicted by agreeable‐ ness, neuroticism (negative relationship), and openness to experience (negative relationship). Given these relationships, it seems that communication styles are partly determined by personality. Organizations should take this into account when their employees participate in communication styles training.

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Gedrag en organisatie : tijdschrift voor sociale, arbeids- en organisatie-psychologie
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Oostrom, J.K, De Rijke, L.M, Serlie, A.W, & Heldeweg, B. (2014). Individual differences in communication styles: Does personality explain our way of communicating?. Gedrag en organisatie : tijdschrift voor sociale, arbeids- en organisatie-psychologie, 27(4), 361–384. Retrieved from