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5 Simple Steps to Assertive Communication

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

5 Simple Steps to Assertive Communication

5 Simple Steps to Assertive Communication

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

verywellmind.com

7

Key Ideas

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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].”

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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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.

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Not Editing Your Work

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

  • Don't rely on spell-checkers.
  • Proofread your work.
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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.

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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.