In this tutorial, the following content will be covered:-
- Assertive Communication definition
- Style – passive/assertive/aggressive
- Non-verbal aspects of assertiveness
- Importance of assertiveness
- What’s keeping you from being assertive
- Assertive rights
- Assertive skills
At the end of this tutorial, you should be able to understand the philosophy of assertiveness, know the importance of assertive communication, its rights and
learn some assertive communication skills.
Assertive Communication definition
Assertive Communication is the ability to express positive and negative feelings in an open, honest and direct manner. It recognize our own rights while respect the rights of others.
Assertive communication is communicating in a way that assure a win-win approach for two parties. It is a healthy style of communicating and it is a learned skill.
Now watch these 2 videos:-
Write 3 words that describe your style.
Style - Passive,Assertive,Aggressive
Not expressing needs
Waiting to be led
Honest, Open, Direct
Recognises own rights
Listens to others’ needs
Quiet, hesitant voice
Little eye contact
Upright, balanced pose
Firm clear voice
Steady eye contact
Sorry to bother you…
I cant seem to…
Its only my opinion…
I believe/need/I’d like to
That wont work
You cant be serious
Identify the behaviour exhibited (passive, assertive or aggressive) below:-
1)Someone jumps the queue in the supermarket saying, "I hope you dont mind, I'm rushing for a bus".
No, it's all right(even though you are also in a hurry).
2)You are going out with some friends. As you are leaving, your mother says, "Be sure to get home in time or you'll be in trouble."
3)A friend promised to call for you and bring you along to the local sports club and introduce you to some people there.S/he went without you and you phone and say -
I am disappointed and hurt that you went without me. What happened?
Non-verbal aspects of assertiveness
Besides speech, it is important to focus also on the following aspects in communication:-
- Voice tone
- Position and space
- Facial expression
It is found that in general, the following is the contribution of each component towards assertive communication.
25% - speech
25% - posture
25% - eye contact
25% - tone of voice
Importance of Assertive Communication
Why is assertive communication important?
- Effective communication brings about achievement of your/shared goals
- It increases your ability to reach these goals while still maintaining your rights/dignity
- Improve self-esteem, confidence
- Control stress, anger
Job interviewers often ask assertive behavior questions to check level of assertive behavior in a candidate's past employment, such as:-
- Proactive behavior
- Inspiration behavior
- Confrontation behavior
What's keeping you from being assertive
Write down 3 reasons that you may have which is impeding you from being assertive.
Everyone has the following rights:-
- You have right to express needs
- You have right to be assertive
- You have right that others change behavior if they are infringing on your rights
- You have right to take time to answer questions
Working in a Team
- Team issues arise due to poor communication
- Key is using assertive communication
- All agree on a team leader, schedule, job assignments,…
- Speak up and ask questions
The following are some basic Assertive Skills that you will learn in this journey:-
- Saying “NO”
- Negative Assertion
- Negative Inquiry
- “I”- statements
- Broken Record
- Step 1 – Just say “No”
- Step 2 – I know you really like me to, however…..
- Step 3 – Will you please stop persisting…
- Step 4 – State what you going to do if they still persist
You don’t drink and have said “No” but your friends are determined to persuade you. It’s getting really boring and annoying.
Think of how would you say “No”.
- Describe the problem
- Express the feeling
- Specify how problem be solved
Describe the problem
Eg. Monica, I have not received the part of research our team supposed to gather…..It was due yesterday. The Director has called twice already.
Express the feeling
Eg. This situation really puts our team in a bad light. It’s important we get that plan together….
Specify how the problem is solved
Eg. Is there something I or other team member can help you finish the research by end of today. …
Eg. If you can’t complete today, I will have to tell the director what has been holding things up. None of us want that to happen…
- Criticism: “Your desk is very messy. You are very disorganized.”
- Answer: “Yes, it’s true. I’m not very tidy”.
- Criticism: “You’ll find it that difficult, won’t you?
- Answer: “In what ways do you think I’m shy”.
Provide an example of Negative Inquiry.
- Criticism: “That’s the wrong tool for the job…..”.
- Answer: “You’re right. If the chisel slips, it would really mess up the wood”.
- I want you to be on time
- I have the feeling you don’t want my ideas
- I feel betrayed
- I have been asked to work late 3 times this week
Fill in the missing part for the conversation below:-
- Repeat yourself again and again until other person gives in
- Eg. Other people may not complain, but I want a refund….
- I can appreciate that is your opinion but
- I want a refund…
- That may be your policy, but I want a refund…
- Assertive coimmunication is a useful communication tool
- Apply it according to context
- But there’s no guarantee of success though it is guarantee you will be proud that you stood by your rights.
- Do assess the situation as if a situation is too dangerous, it is advisable not to be assertive