Communication, if not clear, can lead to misunderstandings. One way to avoid these misunderstandings is to be assertive. Assertiveness is the result of a clear thought and speech; it is a stable form of communication where you convey your ideas in a crisp and clear way. It is important to be assertive for a better line of thought, which makes the task at hand easier to accomplish. If you are not assertive, people might just refuse to take you seriously. This can prove inconvenient for both employee and employer. Although assertiveness has its place of importance, sensitivity should not be compromised. There is a difference between being assertive and being aggressive. It is important to realize the difference while working your way towards assertiveness. Many things need to be kept in mind to understand assertiveness and its implications. Here are some of them.
Assertive Communication Skills
Assertiveness and Aggressiveness
As said above, there is a very thin line between assertiveness and aggressiveness, but the results are drastically different. It is basically very simple; assertiveness is healthy while aggressiveness is unhealthy. Being assertive means you state your point clearly and stand by it. If someone’s loud music is annoying you while you are trying to work, this is what you will say if you are assertive, in a straight and stern tone, “Can you please keep the volume down, I am trying to work and it is disturbing me”. Whereas, an aggressive person will say, “What is wrong with you? Can’t you see that I am working? Lower the volume!” Being aggressive or unassertive can harm relationships that are personal as well as professional. So be polite, but also make your point clear. And always remember, assertiveness is never about winning an argument.
Confidence And Courage
It is not always easy to say what is required to be said. There are times when one feels intimidated by the dominant nature of the other party. Whether they agree or not, this happens to the best of people. For some people, this happens most of the time. An employer should make sure he or she gets the point across to the. An employee should also speak up at times when she/he thinks his/her labor is being exploited. You have to remember that what you think is important and it must be put across to the other person. It does not mean your opinion or what you think is necessarily right; but it needs to be communicated.
There are very few people in this world who can take criticism in a healthy way. Some get offended by criticism and tend to go off in a tangent while a few others are so affected by it that they go into self-pity, thereby damaging their self-esteem. There are yet others who are so scared of criticism that they never speak up. All of these three are unhealthy for a person’s growth, be it be personal and professional. Criticism must be taken in the right spirit and also judged rightly. While some criticisms are very valuable, some do not apply to you at all. So being assertive means that you understand yourself well and do not get swayed by false criticism, and also accept them in the right spirit. This leaves you with a better sense of dignity and self-respect.
Always have a firm and straight body language. When you are talking to someone, look in his or her eyes and talk. Looking elsewhere and talking is a sign of timidity and distraction.
Being honest is the most important and basic aspect of being assertive. Say exactly what you think rather than beating around the bush. If you feel that your senior is doling out undeserved treatments towards you, talk it out. Or if you feel that your junior is taking you for granted, stand up for yourself. Honesty initiates assertiveness. If you are an honest person, nobody needs to teach you how to be assertive.
These were a few pointers to help you be assertive. Keep these in mind and your efforts to do the same will be eased to a great extent.