Assertive communication - Deepstash

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5 Simple Steps to 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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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.

Communication during stressful times
Communication during stressful times

Uncertainty has a way to reveal everyone's strengths and weaknesses. During drastic uncertainty, employees will seek more information in order to achieve a sense of certainty. During this unsta...

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.

Not Editing Your Work
Not Editing Your Work

Spelling, tone and grammatical mistakes can make you look careless.

  • Don't rely on spell-checkers.
  • Proofread your work.
  • Use a dictionary to look up any words that y...
Delivering Bad News by Email

Written communication channels don't allow you to soften difficult messages with nonverbal cues.

Delivering a message in person makes it easier to pick up on signs that people have misunderstood parts of your message.

Avoiding Difficult Conversations

It's tempting to try to avoid difficult conversations, but this can cause further problems.

  • Preparation is key to handling difficult conversations.
  • Use tools such as the Situation – Behavior – Impact technique to encourage your people to reflect on their behavior.
  • Role-play your conversation first.