Welcome to a three-part series on assertive communication. It is a new year and time for new positive beginnings. Start with how you communicate with others. Build bridges and find the support you need to persevere through the expected and unexpected.
Let’s begin by defining assertive communication…
Assertive Communication: A communication style in which a person stands up for their own needs and wants, while also taking into consideration the needs and wants of others, without behaving passively or aggressively.
Traits of Assertive Communicators
- Clearly state needs and wants
- Eye contact
- Listens to others without interruption
- Appropriate speaking volume
- Steady tone of voice
- Confident body language
Respect yourself. Your needs, wants, and rights are as important as anyone else’s. It’s fine to express what you want, so long as you are respectful toward the rights of others.
Express your thoughts and feelings calmly. Giving the silent treatment, yelling, threatening, and shaming are all great examples of what not to do. Take responsibility for your emotions and express them in a calm and factual manner. Try starting sentences with “I feel…”
Plan what you’re going to say. Know your wants and needs, and how you can express them, before entering a conversation. Come up with specific sentences and words you can use.
Say “no” when you need to. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. When you need to say “no,” do so clearly, without lying about the reason. Offer to help find another solution.
Save these tips. Review the tips. It will take time and practice to understand and effectively use assertive communication strategies. Believe in yourself. Do not give up.
NEXT STEPS: Check in next week for more information on assertive communication.
©Indigo Stone 2023