Assertive communication styles help you clearly and directly state your opinions without violating those of others. They allow you to demand respect without being disrespectful.
In contrast to assertive communication styles, aggressive communication violates others’ boundaries. It blames, lies, hurts and judges. Passive communication, on the other hand, avoids expression of feelings and is permissive to abuse.
Assertive communication somehow finds a balance between these two as it promotes a healthy relationship through cooperation. Need more reasons to adopt this type of communication? Here are a few pointers for you to think about.
1) Assertive communication styles help us feel good about ourselves and others.
They put high importance on self-esteem. You strongly advocate for your rights alongside the rights of others. It means that you value your time, your opinion and your needs. It means that you don’t let anyone take advantage of you.
You know that your opinion matters, but you also know when to shut up and when to speak up. You know that you are competent and you do not allow others to manipulate you.
2) Assertive communication styles create a respectful environment where others can grow and mature in.
When you refuse to be taken for granted or disrespected, you set boundaries and standards for yourself and for others around you. You become an example, a role model.
This creates an opportunity for an open line where one listens to the other, respects what the other has said, and strives to contribute to the improvement of the idea.
After all, communication isn’t just a one way route. Feedback must also be taken into consideration.
3) Assertive communication styles lead to the development of mutual respect.
They don’t always guarantee that you get what you want, at least in the beginning. This is because high regard is given to the opinion of others, not just yourself.
They allow for negotiation and agreeable compromise. They also encourage fairness and objectivity and appeals to the common interest of both sides.
The goal of assertive communication is mutuality: to give respect and be respected, to ask for fair play and have room for compromise (should conflict arise).
Assertive behaviour aims not to win the situation, but to even out the balance of power. It also paves the way for an honest relationship. Keep in mind, however, that others can respond to your assertiveness with their own opinions and needs – it’s always a two-way process.
Assertive communication styles can be challenging to carry out in the beginning, but can be learned and improved over time with practice.
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