Drawbacks of Defensive Communication Styles
Among the various communication styles, defensive communication styles cause the most harm to the individual and the organization.
The defensive individual spends much time and energy in defense, and this energy comes at the cost of performing work related tasks. A person with defensive style is also not able to grasp the motives, values, and emotions of the sender, always thinking in terms of how the received communication might be a threat.
The focus on how to create a favorable impression on others, how to win, dominate, impress, escape punishment, and the like:
- Takes the focus of an intended communication
- Sends multiple values, affects motives, and distort cues
Research establishes that high levels of self-reported defensive communication can cause burnouts.
In the organizational context, defensive communication leads to problems such as:
- Restricted flow of information
- A restrictive work atmosphere as opposed to an openness
- Communication in groups and personal conversations, hampering team unity
- Suppression of new ideas
- Impairment of group learning
All of these can lead to organizational dysfunction.