Learn three common communication styles through skits
The three communication styles presented (Passive, Assertive, and Aggressive) are taught here in the context of addressing conflictual situations.
1. Hand out or display one of the articles on Communication Styles. Choose whichever one you wish!
2. Ask students to annotate the article as they read. Consider:
• Circle information that is important
• Underline information that they already know
• Star information that they have a question, wonder, or alternative idea.
3. Allow time for students to read and digest the material.
4. Group up students into pods of four to share their information from the article.
5. Next, split the class into three small groups and assign each group one of the three communication styles: Passive, Assertive, Aggressive
6. Hand out the skits for students to practice reading through and run through a rehearsal.
7. As the groups are ready, invite them up to perform. Students should not initially share which “style” they are presenting.
8. As students perform the skit, have the rest of the class figure out which style is being represented by how the conflict plays out.
1. Instead of using the pre-made skits. Instruct each group to write a short skit in a way that characterizes their assigned style. Use the sample synopsis’ below for a “scene” that the students can base their skit from.
All of the skits should be based on the same scenario so that students can see a comparison between different ways to handle a situation:
• Tattoo Parlor: Customer comes into a tattoo parlor and describes the tattoo he/she wants. The tattoo artist proceeds to give the customer a hideous tattoo that is nothing like the one described. Customer communicates his/her displeasure with a ______________ style.
• Car Mechanic: Customer brings car into the mechanic to have a specific issue repaired. When the customer comes back to pick up the car, the mechanic has done entirely the wrong work. Customer communicates his/her displeasure with a _______________ style.
• Mom’s Night Out: Mom is heading out for the evening, and asks the kids to complete three specific tasks while she’s out. The kids play and watch TV instead. When she comes home, she communicates her displeasure with a ______________ style.
As students perform the skit, have the rest of the class figure out which style is being represented by how the conflict plays out.
1. Once all the groups have performed, have students circle up to discuss:
• What was the most effective style of response in this scenario?
• What specific behaviors (traits) made that style most effective?
• Is there a ‘right way’ to address conflict?
• When do you usually interact in any of these ways?
• Why can it be difficult to be assertive?
• Think of a specific time when you used a passive or aggressive style. What made that way seem like the best option?