What is Direct communication features types advantages examples

Direct  communication  is a method of transmission in which a person clearly expresses their thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings and emotions. When this occurs, the interlocutors know perfectly well what is happening at any given time, and there are no hidden messages or hidden intentions between them.

Direct communication is very typical of some cultures, such as the Western one, which value honesty and clarity above all else. It contrasts with indirect communication, in which the focus is on the well-being of all interlocutors and, therefore, the honesty of the message plays a more secondary role.

While both types of communication can have advantages and disadvantages, direct communication is generally considered to be much more effective in maintaining quality relationships and achieving goals in which other individuals are involved. That’s why social psychologists have thoroughly investigated how to promote and enhance this ability.

Direct communication is the most effective way to solve problems, propose solutions and find alternatives in complex situations. On the other hand, hiding information or transmitting it indirectly can greatly impair the ability of stakeholders to respond to a challenge.

Features of direct communication

– Honesty is valued above all else

The most important characteristic of direct communication is the value placed on honesty in the transmission of information. When a person adopts this communication model, he focuses on exchanging messages as sincerely as possible with his interlocutor, so that he understands what is happening as far as possible.

This contrasts with what occurs in the indirect communication style, in which the focus is primarily on maintaining the emotional well-being of everyone involved. As a result, people who adopt this style tend to hide information and misrepresent their message to avoid confrontation and trouble.

– The feelings of the other are not taken care of

One of the main consequences of putting the honesty and clarity of the message above all else is that the interlocutors must take responsibility for their own feelings.

On many occasions, what is communicated in a direct communication scenario is not pleasant, especially when it comes to some kind of problem or crisis.

Therefore, in direct communication, it is generally assumed that each of the interlocutors is responsible for managing their feelings and accepting the reality of each situation. For those who are not used to this style of communication, those who use it can come across as rude or obnoxious.

In fact, individuals from cultures with a predominantly direct communication style tend to have a reputation for being unpleasant, dry, or cutting. On the contrary, those who belong to a less confrontational culture tend to be more concerned with the feelings of their interlocutor than with the reality of a specific situation.

– Requires a mutual agreement

One of the main problems with the direct communication style is that it requires the collaboration of all parties involved in order for it to work properly. If only one of the interlocutors hides information or does not convey what he is thinking, it is impossible for the communication channels to be kept open.

On the other hand, all people involved in a communication process of this style need to actively listen to what their interlocutors convey to them. Failure to do so can lead to misunderstandings and problems that go against what is expected of this style of information exchange.

Types of  direct communication

Direct communication can arise for two different reasons. On the one hand, a person may decide to adopt it individually, even if the individuals around them choose a more indirect style. Furthermore, a complete culture can encourage the use of this form of information exchange.

Individual direct communication

Even in the most collectivist and indirect cultures on the planet, there are people who value honesty above the feelings of others. This usually happens because they have a set of personal values ​​or beliefs that lead them to go against what most people around them think.

At the same time, in collectivist cultures it is also possible to find institutions or organizations that mainly use a direct communication style. However, these are usually met with strong rejection by the society in which they find themselves.

direct cultural communication

The adoption of a more or less direct communication style on a regular basis is one of the factors that most differentiates some cultures from others.

Research in this regard shows that some societies favor the exchange of honest information, however difficult the message, while others prefer to take care of their citizens’ emotions.

So cultures like Russian or American have very high levels of direct communication, while others like Latino or Asian are on the other side of the scale.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of direct communication is that using it, it is much easier to solve all kinds of problems as the parties involved have all the information about what is happening at all times.

In this way, using this style of communication is essential in times of crisis, or even to maintain the functioning of entities such as a company, community or even a couple or friendship relationship.

On the other hand, to use direct communication correctly, everyone involved must be willing to be honest and take charge of their emotions. If this requirement is not met, the most common consequences include the emergence of conflicts, hurt feelings and tensions between interlocutors.


– A woman tells her partner that she is not happy with him in order to solve their problems by working together.

– A boss tells his employee that he needs to change his attitude or he could be fired.

– Members of a group of friends talk to one of the members to express their concern about some of the decisions they are making lately.

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