• Dr. Terra

Get More of What You Want, Transform Your Communication Skills

Assertiveness can help you control stress and anger and improve coping skills. Recognize and learn about assertive behavior and communication.

Last week we discussed four communication styles: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. What did we learn? Passive, Aggressive, and Passive-Aggressive communication styles do work in the long-term. However, we have a healthy alternative, assertive communication. Assertive communication is the most productive and effective communication style. This blog will dive deeper into why assertive communication makes sense, some benefits to assertive communication, and critical areas for improvement.

Why does assertive communication make sense?

Assertive communication is based on mutual respect. Being assertive shows that you respect and honor yourself because you are willing to stand up for your preferences and express your thoughts and feelings. Additionally, assertiveness demonstrates your awareness of others' rights and your willingness to resolve conflict positively.

Assertive communication is direct and respectful. Being assertive gives you the best chance of successfully delivering your message. If you communicate in a way that is too passive or too aggressive, your notice may get lost because people are too busy reacting to your delivery.

Benefits of Assertive Communication

Being assertive is a core communication skill. Assertiveness can help you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view while also respecting others' rights and beliefs. Being assertive can also help boost your self-esteem and earn others' respect. Assertiveness can help with stress management, especially if you tend to take on too many responsibilities because you have difficulty saying no. Some people are naturally assertive. But if you are not one of them, you can learn to be more proactive.

Four Key Areas for Improvement to Become Assertive

Communication styles are formed based on our life experiences. People develop different styles of communication-based on their life experiences. Your style may be so ingrained that you are not even aware of what it is. People tend to stick to the same communication style over time. But if you want to change your communication style, you can learn to communicate in healthier and more effective ways. Becoming assertive is not just about what you say, the message, but how you say it is also essential. In the first blog of this series, we identified some critical areas for improving our communication.

  1. Learn to Listen to Understanding Non-Verbal Communication

  2. Emotional Awareness

  3. Questioning Skills

What is Listening?

Listening is not the same as hearing. Often, we forget that communication is a two-way process; we tend to do a great job sending messages but fail to listen to what the other person is saying. Instead, we are thinking about what we plan to say next.

Listening means you are paying attention to the words spoken and how they are being spoken, and any non-verbal messages sent with the spoken words—in other words, listening to what is said and what is NOT being said. Listening means giving your full attention to the person speaking and genuinely concentrating on what they are saying and what they are not saying. This is called active listening.

In addition to active listening, a good listener also uses clarification and reflection techniques to confirm what the other person has said to avoid confusion. These techniques demonstrate that you are listening, present, and attentive to the other person. Improving our listening skills will show improvements in your personal and professional relationships.

Understanding Non-Verbal Communication