Everyone talks about being open to new ideas and being “open-minded”. It is great, of course, but have you heard of assertive communication? Most people would reply no, although it is closely related to the idea of having an open mind. Let’s take a look at what it means and how you can use it to your advantage in the workplace.
Three Benefits of Assertive Communication
- To put it simply, assertive communication respects others and their opinions while expressing your point of view. It means that you can stand up for yourself and what you believe in while not stepping over other people’s thoughts and values. As it is mainly based on mutual respect, it is seen as a healthier and more effective form of communication, especially at work. Being assertive is the middle ground between being bullied and being the bully. It seems obvious, but really it is an art that you should master.
- Assertive communication is a hard balance to find. You can easily slip and fall into the aggressive (bully) communication zone. Sometimes, when stating your opinion, you might completely disregard others’ feelings or ideas, which could easily humiliate them. Being assertive is all about being constructive with your criticism without blaming or judging. It allows you to minimize conflicts and to have a better relationship with those around you.
- Now, how can you be more assertive? Instead of pointing fingers, try to be less judgmental. State your opinion gently instead of harshly blaming someone (or something). Be honest when speaking, but also listen to how people around you feel or react. Try to use the “I” statement instead of the “you” statement. Remember, you can only state your opinion, not judge in any way.
Finding the right balance between passive and aggressive communication is hard, and it takes trial and error. However, the benefits on your career, and personal life, could be quite significant, depending on your environment. Give it a try, and tell us how it went!
If you loved this post on Assertive Communication you would enjoy the one about The right mindset for optimal performance
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