I used to think that assertive communication mean that you needed to be brutal. I quickly learned that this was immature thinking. Assertive communication does not mean that you have to be mean, be rude, or to tell someone off. That is aggressive communication. Before we get into examples of how you can implement assertive communication we must first defined it.
Assertive communication means means that you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. Please note that you respect the right of others.
Practicing assertive communication does not mean that you turn into that bad boss in the movie “the Devil Wears Prada” and disrespectful your boss or your co-workers. You can also click here on how to deal with crazy co-workers and bosses.
So here Are 5 On How To Implement Assertive Communication At Work
This is the number one thing that you can do for assertive communication. If a boss is talking to you disrespectful, getting all your nerves, or not listening to you. The biggest mistake that people make is thinking that getting loud or being rude with someone equals assertiveness. It doesn’t. It makes you look like you should be in the episode of the Bad Girls Club and like you do not know how to act in a professional environment. Knowing how to articulate yourself will help you get your point across to the other person more effectively. How can the person know what you want if both of you are screaming over top of each other or being nasty to one another. If the point is to be heard, then speaking in a clear and respectful way, articulating what you want is the best way to implement assertive communication.
Have you ever seen someone going off on someone else and the other person just sitting there looking at them. If not I recommend you do and then determine which person has the most self-control. It does not matter if someone is telling me something I disagree with you, talking about me, or just down right being rude with me; I have mastered the art of keeping calm. I am an adult, and as an adult, you should master the function of controlling yourself. Give yourself time to think about what you are going to say and do not behave impulsively that may get your fired, written up, arrested, or even causes you to walk off the job. Often times when you are calm, it will allow the other person to calm down and that way you can communicate your more effectively.
Don’t Take Shots
When we want to be assertive some people mistake that for aggressive. And so they start to want to do is to take shots at the other person or belittle the other person to show them “who has the upper hand.” We want them to feel bad about themselves because they are attempting to make us feel bad about ourselves or they are doing something that is making us angry. Don’t do that. The only thing that will do is to cause an argument. If you are attempting to practice assertive communication the main point is that you want to be heard and you want the person hearing you to listen and possible act on the directive given. So it is best not to escalate the situation even further. Even if the person is taking shots at you.
Say Your Peace and Shut Up
There have been plenty of coworkers I have not agreed with and plenty of bosses I have not agreed with. And even after all is said and done they may still not agree with me. At that point I have determined that we can agree to disagree. I am not going to keep going back in forth with you over something that I believe in true and something that you believe in untrue. After you have stated your point, if a person insist on going in on you or not seeing your point of view. Drop it and let it go. They do not want to hear or see what you are saying because they don’t want to and no matter how much more you talk, nothing is going to change that. Often times I have ended the conversation by saying “this is how I feel, evidently you do not agree; so I feel it is best we end this conversation.” Then I end the conversation. No matter what they say after that I just give them the blank stare or get up and walk away.
Mean What You Say
I am a huge advocate of being direct with people meaning what you said and being firm, fair, and consistent with everyone. A huge downside when it comes to communication at work is that they get so worked up that they just spout of things even if they are untrue and it just starts a whole bunch of confusion.
When you say things to a boss or a co-worker, say it a respectable, clear, and consist manner. And then follow up on whatever it is that you have said. Do not make idle threats or things that you cannot deliver on. Be the person, that is a person of their word. And make sure that your communication is positive.
You do not want to start telling everyone they are going to get fired and then follow through on it or not following through on it. That is not productive and that is more of an aggressive behavior. Assertive behavior would be telling an employee, that has not followed the rules, that if they continue to not do their job they will get written up and if they continue after that then you may have to reconsider their employment. It is not a threat, you have given them an opportunity to correct their behavior, and you have communicated a directive and the consequence in a clear manner. If the employee does not correct their behavior then you follow through on ALL of the things that you have just mentioned. Such as writing them up first and then a termination if the behavior continues. This is how you create a fair work environment and brand yourself as a fair employee of the company.
A bad example would be if someone messes up you get so pissed off at them, that you come in their office start yelling at them. Grab there things and start packing it and telling them to get out because they are fired. Yes you are following up your threat to fire them, but the way you went about it is very aggressive.
I have said this before and I will say it again. Aggressiveness in the workplace is not a strength. It will not prove that you are a strong employee but rather you will contribute to a hostile work environment. Being assertive is better, and it means keeping your dignity as well communicating and behavior in a way that is professional and gets the job done. Get on your grown woman’s status and learn how to act. Real women know how to handle things without being an embarrassment.