7 Reasons why Assertive Communication is Essential - [website] Email Print
Published: 19th of May 2020 by: Carolyn Kessler

By far, the most underutilized and misunderstood communication method is that of assertiveness.

People tend to view assertiveness as 'stroppiness', aggressiveness, having 'attitude'. Therefore, it' natural that it's not a skill which is highly prized when viewing it through the lens of teamwork. Its opposite which is 'doormat' or totally passive, is also viewed poorly in this context.

In essence, assertive communication and behaviour has nothing in common with either of the above. It is neither aggressive: 'No one walks all over me!', nor completely accommodating: 'I don't know how to say no - surely that';s a bad thing to do anyway, because then I'm not being nice'

I've detailed below, 7 reasons Assertive Communication is essential in our day to day lives.

1. It's dishonest to hide our feelings, needs, wants. We are being dishonest with ourselves and with the other person and the outcome can only be less than satisfactory.

2. You owe it to yourself to negotiate fair trade deals - if you aren't taking care of you, no one else is either. This does not mean 'fight' for what you want or need, it means communicate these wants and needs respectfully.

3. When you are in an assertive frame of mind, you are able to listen to the other party with an open mind, because your mind is not clouded by fear.

4. When you are assertive, you will always be looking to problem solve instead of blame. This is because you aren't fearful or aggressive, meaning the critical thinking part of your brain is engaged and there is no room or need for you to bring the other person down.

5. With an assertive approach, you bypass the trap of the 'power struggle'. This interaction is about resolving the issue and there are to be no winners and no losers, hence you can be honest, calm and kind where appropriate.

6. Assertive behaviour begets assertive behaviour from other people. If you remain open, honest, respectful and in control of your emotions, very often you'll find others engage their 'adult' brain too.

7. Assertiveness sets you free, in that you're able to explain and share exactly what your issues are, no manipulation. Therefore, when you leave that interaction, you leave with your dignity intact.

These are but a few of the benefits from learning how to bring assertiveness to the table during difficult discussions.

Our Assertiveness course lays out the tools you need to apply assertive behaviour in a practical and effective manner.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at info@StaffTraining.co.za for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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