Assertive communication: what is it, and How do you develop assertive communication?

By Dickson Osas

What is Assertive Communication and How Do You Cultivate It

According to the dictionary, assertiveness is characteristic of someone “which demonstrates security, decision, and firmness in attitudes and words.” That is, a person with passion is much more than a good speaker; he is a good communicator.

An assertive person needs to have emotional intelligence, know how to identify their feelings and those of others, and deal best with the situations around them. Also, it would help if you found a balance between listening and being listened to; between defending what you think is correct and what others believe in a calm, non-aggressive way; and passively accepting something that is not in agreement.

This stance requires honesty about your wants and needs while also considering the rights, conditions, and wants of others. Remember that when you learn to be assertive, you also become more peaceful.

Having self-knowledge is the first step to effectively achieving assertive communication. As you gain a better understanding of yourself, your value, and what you can offer others, it helps you become more confident and secure in what you believe in. Self-confidence is another characteristic common to the assertive person, and knowing how to take advantage of this so that your point of view is firm and fair is fundamental.

How do you develop assertive communication?

While being assertive is a complicated task, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Remember that it will not happen overnight but gradually as you apply the techniques and tips.

So, if you want to master assertive communication and are willing to change your behaviors, check out the seven tips we’ve separated:

1. Be open to receiving criticism and praise

Something closely linked to assertive communication is the ability to accept positive and negative feedback humbly and gracefully. If for some reason, you disagree with the criticism you’ve received, you need to prepare your reasoning skills to talk about it without getting stressed or going into defensive mode.

2. Learn to listen to each other

In addition to knowing how to accept criticism and feedback, listening to each other in general is necessary. Anyone who thinks that communication is just talking and gesturing is wrong. Communication also involves listening to and perceiving the other.

How you behave while the other person is talking will directly interfere with how he will react when it is your moment to speak. If you don’t pay attention, keep interrupting, or are inconvenient, most likely, when it’s your turn to speak, the same will happen to you. Therefore, respecting the neighborhood and listening to what he says is necessary.

Also, make sure the other person is following your speech and reasoning. After all, for communication to be successful, both must understand each other.

3. Give more value to yourself and your rights

As mentioned above, the assertive person is self-aware. But beyond that, she also learned to believe in herself and her worth. The strong person understands what he represents for his team and the company regarding the job market. This will also help you demand to be treated with respect and dignity and build confidence to fight for your rights.

4. Master the subject you are going to talk about

Knowing the subject is essential for assertive communication. Avoid saying “I think,” as this decreases the other person’s confidence in what you will say. Instead, try to show that you know what you are talking about. An excellent way to give credibility to your speech is to share your experiences.

In addition, to be assertive, it is also essential to be direct. Avoid beating around the bush, which weakens the speech. Argue and support your opinion, but be careful not to appear aggressive.

5. Learn to express yourself

This learning involves knowing how to express your needs, feelings, and desires confidently and positively and understanding how you communicate yourself through your body language.

It’s important to say what you’re thinking when experiencing difficulty or problem but do it constructively and sensitively. Also, please don’t wait for someone else to see your need; ensure that it is taken care of. Take the initiative, identify your priorities, and set goals to achieve them. After doing this, you can clearly and confidently convey precisely what you need to your boss and co-workers. Be careful only to make requests that do not require sacrifices from people. You want help, and you need it, but aggressive demands can jeopardize your relationship.

Also, don’t be afraid to disagree; confront and defend yourself when people challenge you. But remember always to control your emotions and not lose respect at any time.

Finally, adjusting your body language is indispensable to achieving good assertive communication. After all, your gestures and speaking are as important as what will be said. Always try to look into the other person’s eyes, relax your facial expression, and stand tall. Don’t forget to pay attention to the volume and tone of your voice.

6. Know how to say “no.”

For most people, it is not always easy to deny something. However, saying “no” is vital for anyone on the path to becoming more assertive. In addition, denying is knowing your limits and whether you can handle the situation. Understanding how much work you can do leads to more efficient task management, as well as helping you identify areas of your work that are most relevant to you.

7. Understand that it’s not up to you to control other people’s behavior

You are not responsible for how people react to your assertiveness. They don’t respond with the same behavior if they have an aggressive or resentful reaction. Remember that you only control yourself. So, behave as best you can, staying calm even during stress and tension.