Whether we like it or not, our whole life is based on interacting with other individuals , and we interact with others through communication . Today we will talk about the famous assertive communication and we will try to explain what it is and how to learn to use it in the right way.
WHAT IS MEANT BY ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION?
In a nutshell, assertiveness is the ability to express one’s opinions clearly and effectively, convincing those who listen to us : you will understand how much assertive communication is essential to affirm oneself, especially in contexts where it is of primary importance to show authority, but even in many everyday situations.
Communicating means relating to others, interacting and communicating in an assertive way means firmly but politely expressing one’s ideas in order to have a positive response from the interlocutor .
To do this you must first:
- Clearlyexpress what you think.
- Relating tothe other, listening to his reasons (otherwise he borders on prevarication).
- Remain on your own positionsif you are convinced that they are right and explain the reason to the interlocutor.
Unfortunately, sometimes the line between assertiveness and prevarication is extremely blurred , and people who are too self-confident tend to impose their reasons without listening.
This is not assertive communication, because assertive communication means being convincing by establishing a balanced relationship with the people with whom you enter into a relationship.
Remember that communicating assertively means being effective in asserting your ideas but does not mean imposing them without hearing reasons , also because in this case we would certainly get the opposite result.
ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION: THE REASON LIES IN THE MIDDLE!
Many people, when they have to relate to others, risk falling into opposite extremes, and engage in two basic types of behavior:
It goes without saying that passive behavior is very deleterious, as the person who has a similar attitude is very easy to get his feet on his head in daily life, let alone in an increasingly competitive environment like that of work.
Unfortunately, however, there are also many who, out of self-defense and fear of being bullied, take a tyrannical and extremely critical attitude towards the people they deal with, and nobody likes this way of doing things.
These two attitudes, apparently so different from each other, are actually very similar because they have one thing in common: in neither case is a communication relationship established .
We realize that it is not easy at all but, in our relationships with others, we must strive to navigate between these two extremes , because only in this case will we be able to establish an assertive communication.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO BE ASSERTIVE?
We’ve done a lot of theory so far and it’s time to get into practice!
If you want to be assertive, try to behave like this :
- If you disagree with someone, don’t be afraidto say so.
- Be incisive and show yourself convincedof what you say.
- Explain your ideas clearly and confidently.
- Establish a relationshipwith those who listen to you, looking them in the eye and trying to catch their reactions.
- Listen to your interlocutor.
- Also give importance to the so-called “non-verbal communication”: assume a posture oriented towards your interlocutor, accompany what you say with gestures and facial expressions.
Here is a practical example : in a business meeting, when someone (perhaps a superior) will express ideas that in all conscience, may be considered wrong by someone, three different situations can be created:
- The passive personwill accept any decision without saying a word , even if he considers it wrong, without even trying to explain his reasons.
- The aggressive personwill throw himself without hearing reasons against the interlocutor , contradicting him on everything, but without offering valid reasons.
- The assertive personwill not be afraid to say “I disagree”, but he will plead his cause by explaining his reasons clearly and confidently and, if he does it in the right way, establishing a constructive relationship with the interlocutor, he will probably reach the its purpose.
We close this article by inviting you not to forget that assertive communication means putting the other in a position to positively accept our ideas, without ever imposing them , but remaining firm on our positions if we consider them right.