No matter which style of management we favour, everyone will have experienced difficulties in communicating with others at some point in their career. It can often be a huge challenge knowing just which way is best when it comes to getting your opinions and thoughts across. Assertive communication, as any change management specialist will tell you, is one way in which this can be done, and here we will take a look at how you can be an effective assertive communicator.

What is assertive communication?

Assertive communication is a skill that is often referred to during change management training. It is the ability to express ideas of both a negative and positive nature as well as feelings in a manner that is honest, open and direct. This type of communication recognises the rights of the individual speaking which still respecting the rights of those around them. It also allows them to take responsibility for themselves and their actions without being judged or putting the blame on someone else.

The benefits of assertive communication

  • Communicate better – assertive behaviour is actually better for all parties involved. When you communicate well not only do you get what you want but the other party is happy too.
  • Reduced stress – unlike assertive communication, aggressive methods of communication are stressful. It is always better to choose the communication method that offers you less stress.
  • Increased trust – Whether you are looking at business relationships or personal ones, trust is very important and being assertive helps you to get more trust naturally. Being trustworthy in your communications helps you to create connections.
  • Increased confidence – If you hide your feelings people may believe that you are less confident. Assertive behaviour shows that you are not only brave enough to stand up for your beliefs but that you are also in control of the message you are giving. Finding the balance that allows the other party to state their requirements as well.

How to use assertive communication to your advantage

In order to be an effective communicator, it is important to consider the 3Cs of assertive communication – confidence, clear, controlled – believe you can handle the situation, be clear with your message and deliver it in a controlled way.

If you want to be truly effective in your communication, you will need to consider a few more things. It is important that you are able to say no – you cannot please everybody, all of the time so learning that there are times when saying no is the best option is a very important consideration.

If you want to be truly effective in your communication, you will need to consider a few more things. It is important that you are able to say no – you cannot please everybody, all of the time so learning that there are times when saying no is the best option is a very important consideration.

Tone is also very important for assertive communication. You need to be calm and sound relaxed with any communications that you make. There is no place for harshness or hesitation in this type of communication. You also need to be open to discussion – after all, whilst your ideas might seem like the solution it is always important to be open to the suggestions of others in order to find the best solution.