Being an assertive communicator will gain respect from your co-workers. As much as we hear about teamwork and cohesion, respect is given to people that say what they believe in the face of opposition. This type of assertive communication is based on respect, as you actively listen to the other points and respond in a direct manner that avoids the all too common personal attacks. By focusing on the points objectively, you remove much of the emotion and discuss facts. Standing up for your opinion demonstrates leadership and assertive communication. When it goes too far, it’s now aggressive communication, which is when bully and intimidation tactics are used to “persuade” others to side with you. This is highly discouraged because over time, people will lose respect for you and will not view you as a fair leader.
Use assertive communication at work to demonstrate:
1. You are willing to face adversity and shows leadership qualities
2. You are someone to be respected, chances are many people agree with you, but are too afraid to publicly say it.
3. People will ask for your opinion because you give honest feedback. This could come from bosses and will lead to trust, respect, and hopefully a promotion.
4. Increased self-esteem as your confidence increases by stating your true feelings and beliefs.
What Happens When I’m Not Assertive?
* You’re conflicted internally because you know what you want to say and are not doing it.
* Increased stress as you dwell on not expressing your feelings, this causes constant replaying on how you could have reacted differently.
* Buildup of anger as your stress levels continue to rise with the feeling that you’re not being heard, respected, or valued.
* You may be viewed as a corporate “yes man” where the value of your opinion drops because if there was a real issue, it’s questioned if you would state your real opinion.
Steps To Communicate Assertively:
1. Make clear eye contact and maintain it. This demonstrates that you’re addressing the person directly and paying attention.
2. Stand proud with open-body posture. Shoulders down and back, open arms, avoid shrinking and making yourself small, this demonstrates a lack of confidence.
3. Use an assured low-pitch voice. When people lack confidence their voices typically raise an octave higher and they rush their words. Speak slowly and use a deeper voice, this let’s people know you’re confident in what you’re saying.
4. Listen to the counter-points to see if they make sense to you. There could be information that comes up that changes your mind. If this is the case, say that upon hearing this information, you agree with their statement. This demonstrates that you’re intelligent as you’ve analyzed the facts and are making the best decision.
5. Respect other opinions by avoiding personal attacks. By sticking to the facts, you remove a majority of the emotion and will show your leadership qualities.
Public speaking will assist you in every facet of communication. When you’re able to speak assertively to a large audience, it shows that you’re in control and to be respected. This is a highly desirable skill and will translate into success in the workplace and your personal life. My past students have seen their confidence soar with the assertive communication training they received. Become more assertive today and comment below how it’s impacted your life.
Fortune favours the bold, Be Bold My Friends!