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Workplace Communication Style Statistics: Global Survey Results

Workplace Communication Style Statistics: Global Survey Results

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the Niagara Institute surveyed 1930 professionals from 52 countries on their communication style. This survey uncovered surprising results on how professionals approach workplace communication. 

The following communication statistics highlight the most common communication style, how they view their approach to communication, the biggest struggle with communication at work, how they resolve conflict, and how they communicate their workload to their boss.


Niagara Institute - Workplace Communication Style Statistics


Is the way you communicate helping or hindering your effectiveness as a leader?  Find out in this guide.



Statistics on Workplace Communication

Most Common Types of Communication Styles

While no one uses a singular style of communication at work, each of us has a dominant style we naturally gravitate towards. Surprisingly, ¾ of the respondents use an assertive communication style.

  • Assertive  - 75.3%
  • Passive - 10.5%
  • Passive-aggressive  - 9.6%
  • Aggressive - 4.6%

 How Professionals view how they communicate At Work

Going hand in hand with an assertive communication style, just over half of the respondents view themselves as communicating at work in a way that is firm, composed, and confident.

  • 51.8% -  firm, composed, and confident
  • 27.7% - soft, hesitant, and apologetic
  • 10.4%  - loud, over-expressive, and intense
  • 10.1% - indirect, ironic, and sarcastic

What professionals see as their biggest struggle with communicating at work

The struggles professionals have with communicating at work were fairly evenly split between the four categories. However, the most common issue professionals have is saying what they mean at the moment when at work.

  • 32.2% - Saying what I really mean at the moment
  • 27.7% - Having the confidence to speak up and share my thoughts
  • 24.9% - Hearing others out without sacrificing my own needs
  • 15.2% - Letting others speak and listening to them

How respondents respond when someone shares an opinion they disagree with

60% of survey respondents do not shy away from sharing their opinion if it differs from their peers at work, but they do so in a way that seeks to find a mutually beneficial outcome.

  • 60.1% -  They share their opinion and present a compromise
  • 17.3% - Speak up directly and share why they disagree with them
  • 11.6% - Don’t speak up directly but drop hints why they disagree
  • 11.1% - Keep my opinion to myself


How respondents view speaking up at work

Aligning with the number one challenge professionals have with communication at work, 64% of respondents will speak up at work once they’ve had time to think through their thoughts and comments.

  • 63.9% will speak up at work when they’ve had time to collect their thoughts prior to
  • 13.2% always speak up for themselves, no matter the situation and timing
  • 11.6% rarely speak up for themselves
  • 11.3% sometimes speak up for themselves but do so indirectly 


How respondents communicate to resolve conflict at work

When faced with conflict at work, 54% of respondents will talk through the situation with their peers with the goal of finding a win-win situation. This communication approach to conflict aligns with what the Niagara Institute found in their workplace conflict management style survey, where 59.8% of respondents use a collaborating style to resolve workplace conflict.

  • 54.2% talk through the situation with the other person to try to find a win-win solution
  • 23.7% don’t bring up the situation to avoid directly confronting the situation
  • 11.8% ignore it and just go with the flow
  • 10.3% approach the conflict head-on to ensure their point of view heard


How respondents communicate to their boss when asked to take on additional work when dealing with an urgent matter

When asked how respondents communicate their heavy workload to their bosses, almost 78% are willing to communicate the urgency of their current deliverables and provide a date on which they can complete the requested task.

  • 77.7% - Communicate that they’re working on an urgent matter and give them a timeline for when the additional work can be completed
  • 11.9% - Not say anything to their boss and make it work.
  • 5.4% - Communicate that it can’t be done and it will have to wait or be assigned to someone else
  • 5.0% - Agree to the additional work but complain to colleagues


About The Workplace Communication Style Survey

Number of respondents: 1930 professionals
Locations:  52 countries with the top response rates from the United States, Canada, India, Australia,  and the United Arab Emirates
Duration of the collection of surveys: August 2022 - June 2023

Workplace Communication Resources

Effective communication is a critical skill everyone needs to develop for personal and professional success. How we communicate, our approach, our tone, and the words we choose significantly impact the outcomes we achieve. Building this vital skill starts with self-awareness and understanding of how we communicate in the workplace. There are several resources available to build your knowledge.


Take The Communication Styles Quiz

Do you know your communication style? Take the communication styles quiz the respondents of this global survey did to uncover your communication style. Once you know your style share the quiz with your colleagues to learn their approach to workplace communication.

Understand Each Communication Style

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of your own communication style and those of your peers, read up on each style to learn more about them and how to spot communication styles in the workplace.

Learn How To Overcome Bad Communication in the Workplace

Do you know if the way you communicate is helping or hindering you? In this in-depth guide, you’ll explore the nine signs of bad communication at work to see if there are areas you need to improve. From there, you’ll get helpful tips and ideas on how to level up your communication skills.


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