Which Avenger will you be today?

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier out in theatres, I have Marvel superheroes on the brain. And I’ve realized that Marvel’s The Avengers is not just a story about a superhero team—it’s a story about communication.

Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury spends the first half of the Avengers movie gathering the team and trying to get them to work together. This is an uphill battle, largely because of the team members’ different communication styles. They may be talking to each other, but they are not communicating. It’s only when they learn to adjust their styles that they become an effective fighting force.

If you want to work well with your own team, you may need to adjust your communication style. Ask yourself: Which Avenger should I be today?

Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Iron Man

“The Avengers. It’s what we call ourselves, sort of like a team. ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ type of thing.”

Iron Man (Tony Stark)

Communication Style: Informal

Iron Man is the life of the party. He’s the casual genius who talks a lot and makes people laugh. It’s time to be Iron Man when you are hanging out with good friends and colleagues or writing a friendly note to someone you know well. Just be careful you don’t let your words run away from you—sometimes Iron Man can talk too much and annoy supervillains. Bad idea.

Thor from the Avengers

“So you take the world I love as recompense for your imagined slights?”

Thor

Communication Style: Formal

Thor is a Norse god, so he uses formal language and makes solemn pronouncements. You may need to channel Thor when you are speaking with strangers, apologizing to unhappy customers, or writing up a business proposal. Just don’t come across as too formal—otherwise you’ll be known as the unfriendly person with the scary hammer.

Captain America

“I went under, the world was at war, I wake up, they say we won. They didn’t say what we lost.”

Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Communication Style: Direct

Captain America is honest and straightforward. He comes from a military background, so he’s used to getting to the point. Be Captain America with managers and executives—they love quick messages that tell it like it is (otherwise known as executive summaries). You may need to tweak this style when you feel the need to be tactful. Otherwise, it’s good to be the Cap.

Hulk

“Hulk smash!”

Hulk (NOT Bruce Banner)

Communication Style: Authoritative

When all else fails, it’s time to be the Hulk. Get your green on when you need to let people know it’s your way or the highway. You may want to use more words than the Hulk, though. And possibly not smash as many things. Especially if you want people to ever talk to you again.

So, there you have it. Different communication styles work well for different situations. What are you going to face today? Who are you going to need to be? Maybe you should try a new style on for size. Then you, too, can be part of a mighty team.

Which Avenger will you be today? Inquiring minds want to know…

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13 thoughts on “Which Avenger will you be today?

  1. A great way to start the work week! I will be careful which avengers I choose to be in the different situations I will be facing. As usual, great post, learning & smiling at the same time.

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    1. Thanks, Andrew! That’s a really great question. Loki is hard to nail down – he changes his style a lot, which is appropriate enough given that he is the trickster god. So it’s hard to identify his dominant style. He tends to use the authoritative style a lot, especially when dealing with those that he feels are beneath him (which is pretty much everyone). 🙂 Otherwise, I would say that he has more of an informal style when dealing with the other gods. I think it would be interesting to see Loki go to a more direct style. He talks around things a lot, and hides his true thoughts from those around him. What would he say if he had the freedom to be direct? Would he even know how to approach things that way? Loki is such a fantastic character, and I’ve been riveted by Tom Hiddleston’s performance of him. Marvel cast him perfectly.

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      1. Casting’s been one of the strong points of their recent movies in general. Chris Evans as Captain America has been a particularly pleasant surprise – he fits the role so perfectly – and could you get a more appropriate Iron Man than Robert Downey Jr?

        As for Loki and directness I think you’re right, he’d a bit lost if he was given the chance to reveal his true thoughts.

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  2. I’ve been all of them under different situations. Yes, even the Hulk. I told my husband. “Don’t make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.” But it was said with a suppressed laugh, so I guess that made me more of a Tony Stark. 🙂

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    1. Yes, Hulk needs to polish up his words a little. 🙂 I think authoritative is a tough style to adopt for a lot of people. Sometimes you absolutely do need to put your foot down. The challenge is in doing it in a firm but respectful way. It would be so much easier to do it Hulk’s way!

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  3. Loved this article, Sue, it made me chuckle. It’s also seems, in retrospect, to be a good way to develop fictional characters, without being overly plagiaristic, to emulate famous personalities.

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    1. Glad you liked it, Mark! That’s a great idea about using this model to develop fictional characters. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I think it would be a great experiment. 🙂

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