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5 Simple Steps to Assertive Communication

https://www.verywellmind.com/learn-assertive-communication-in-five-simple-steps-3144969

verywellmind.com

5 Simple Steps to Assertive Communication
Assertive communication can strengthen your relationships, reducing stress from conflict and providing you with social support when facing difficult times. A polite but assertive ​" no" to excessive requests from others will enable you to avoid overloading your schedule and promote balance in your life.

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Assertive communication

Assertive communication

It empowers you to draw necessary boundaries with people that will allow you to get your needs met in relationships without alienating others and without letting resentment and anger creep in.

Many people mistake assertiveness for aggressiveness, but assertiveness is actually the balanced middle ground between aggressiveness and passivity. 

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Be factual, not judgmental

Be factual, not judgmental

... especially when it comes to things you don't like.

When approaching someone about the behavior you’d like to see changed, stick to factual descriptions of what they’ve done that has upset you, rather than using negative labels or words that convey judgment.

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Be accurate and avoid exaggerations

Be accurate and avoid exaggerations

Being factual about what you don't like in someone's behavior (without overdramatizing) is an important start. 

The same should be done in describing the effects of their behavior. Don’t exaggerate, label or judge; just describe.

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Use “I Messages”

Use “I Messages”

A sentence starting with “You...” comes off as more of a judgment or an attack and puts people on the defensive.

If you start with “I,” the focus is more on how you are feeling and how you are affected by their behavior. Also, it shows more ownership of your reactions and less blame.

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Use the right formula

Use the right formula

A great formula that puts it all together: “When you [their behavior], I feel [your feelings].”

When used with factual statements, rather than judgments or labels, this formula provides a direct, non-attacking, more responsible way of letting people know how their behavior affects you.

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List behavior, results, and feelings

List behavior, results, and feelings

Include the results of their behavior, in factual terms:

“When you [their behavior], then [results of their behavior], and I feel [how you feel].”

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Tips for communicating assertively

Tips for communicating assertively
  • Make sure your body reflects confidence: stand up straight, look people in the eye, and relax.
  • Use a firm, but pleasant, tone.
  • Don’t assume you know what the other person’s motives are, especially if you think they’re negative.
  • When in a discussion, don’t forget to listen and ask questions! It’s important to understand the other person’s point of view as well.
  • Try to think win-win: see if you can find a compromise or a way for you both to get your needs met. 

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Managing the passive communicators

  • Talk to them one-on-one. They will feel more comfortable opening up.
  • Offer multiple modes of communication. Instead of calling on them during a meeting, send them an email afterward.
  • Help them feel psychologically safe at work. Let your team know they won't face negative consequences for voicing their opinion respectfully.

Passive communicators battle to express their needs and stand by their convictions. This is because they want to avoid conflict. They may be silent during crucial meetings. If they do make a suggestion and it is challenged, they may say, "never mind then."

Managing the aggressive communicators

  • Outline and enforce boundaries. If they interrupt someone, step in and say, "Please let [Name} finish, and afterward, we'll give you time to speak too."
  • Give them a safe and healthy way to vent their anger. People under pressure are more likely to act out. Pull them aside for a one-on-one time to address their concerns.

Aggressive Communicators voice their opinions in a straightforward, often blunt way. They often interrupt others, take up significantly more time than others during meetings and don't take into account others' feelings or opinions.

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Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professi...

Effective Communication is vital in business

  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.

Worst Communication Mistakes

  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach. Tailor the communication style to the intended audience.
  2. Speaking More and Listening Less. Listen to what is said, how it is said, and to what is not said.
  3. Assuming Instead of Asking More Questions.
  4. Using Negative Tone. Choose words carefully to eliminate negative reactions.
  5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations.

  6. Reacting, Not Responding.

  7. Not Keeping an Open Mind. Accept and respect differences, listen without judgment and consider all sides of an issue.

Assertiveness

Assertiveness

Assertiveness is behaving in one's own best interests, standing up for oneself without being anxious or guilty, expressing one's honest feelings comfortably, and exercising one's right without deny...

Three Types of Behaviour

  1. Passive behavior: it isn't honest but geared towards being nice to others.
  2. Assertive behavior: it is direct and honest, respecting others but focusing on the self.
  3. Aggressive behavior: it is harmful, egoistic and is about controlling others.

The Middle Path

Most people are either passive or aggressive. Passive people are afraid of confrontation and lie easily.
Aggressive people are not liked, as they can trample others for their own benefit.

The middle ground, assertiveness, is where you want to be: Respectful, firm, observant, and detached.