Assertive communication skills should not be mistaken for aggressiveness. These are two different things. For example, don’t think that having a shouting match with the saleslady counts as being assertive. That’s just being plain rude and undisciplined.
To clear the air, let me explain what assertive communication skills really mean. Having such skills means being able to stand up for what you believe in without resorting to threats or any other form if disrespect. Using the saleslady situation as an example, here are ways on how you can handle things assertively (and not aggressively).
Assertive Communication Skill # 1: Remaining Calm.
Don’t blow your top off for every little thing. Approach the situation with a calm and clear mind. Don’t let anger or frustration get in the way of looking at things from a logical perspective.
If you’re not normally a calm person, I encourage you to take up meditation. This will help condition your mind and body to become more accepting and patient. Try taking deep breaths as well before you open your mouth to speak. Going all out on the saleslady or whoever it is you’re talking to for that matter will only lead to regrets.
Assertive Communication Skill # 2: Stating Your Problem.
Inform the saleslady of what is going on. Did she give you the wrong shoe size? Did another customer steal the last pair of socks you wanted? Be straightforward about it but try not to appear agitated.
In fact, be more business-like with your tone to get the saleslady to listen and take you more seriously. Emotions have no place here. Being professional in any situation is always a plus.
This also applies in the workplace. When something is wrong, don’t be afraid to express your sentiments. However, don’t start pointing fingers either.
Assertive Communication Skill # 3: Suggesting a Solution.
If the saleslady can’t help you, why don’t you be the one to suggest a solution? Part of developing your assertiveness is presenting an idea you came up with. Don’t be the enemy. Be the mediator.
In the workplace, you’re not only supposed to point out the problems; you should also be able to think of ways to deal with them. This is what makes your assertiveness valuable.
Developing assertive communication skills is highly encouraged. This will not only help you gain respect from others but will also help you become more confident with yourself.
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