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What is assertive communication and how to develop it

Check our tips to develop this skill and pass on the message you really mean to!

Assertive communication - illustration of a woman with a hand on her waist and the other with her finger pointed up, and a speech bubble with an exclamation point.

Most successful relationships are based on assertive communication. This skill is one of the main characteristics of a renowned professional and shows that the person is confident and serious about the work performed, besides having the credibility to earn the collaboration of other professionals.

Assertive communication refers to the clarity, dynamic, objectivity and respect when passing along a piece of information. This means that the communication was assertive when the message, be it good or bad, achieved the outcomes that the communicator expected.

To better understand this concept and check some tips, keep reading this content!

Understand the concept of assertive communication

Assertiveness is defined as the social ability to affirm something and express thoughts, feelings, and desires in a way that is direct, clear and honest, considering the context and the delivery.

That’s why an assertive communicator can adapt to the moment and environment so as to convey the desired message in its entirety.

In digital relationships, for example, creators and brands need to have an assertive communication with their publics. However, there isn’t one single way of doing that. It’s important to understand the public and its particularities, and, based on that, plan strategies to become a good communicator.

This type of communication is very important within organizations, especially for managers and department leaders. After all, this skill helps to maintain relationships, generates important experiences, and helps to close deals.

On the other hand, in this context, many production bottlenecks originate in communication failures. If some information is not shared or if it is passed incorrectly or only partially, there will be misalignment in several areas.

5 tips to get your communication right

Assertive communication goes beyond the ability to use words. Learning non-verbal expression also says a lot about a communicator’s capability. Professionals who develop this trait have more credibility in their relations, are better respected and are more likely to achieve success. 

In addition, there’s a direct relation between successful professionals and communicative capacity. They can convey ideas, visions, and fears in a way that is so natural and transparent that many people feel touched and even close to them.

Check other tips to develop assertive communication.

1. Learn to listen before communicating

This should be a basic premise of any interaction. A good communicator listens and understands the other side before making considerations.

Even if you don’t agree with all the addressed points, allow the person to conclude their line of thought and let you speak. This is also a gesture of respect, showing that your goal is not just to speak, but also solve the situation.

2. Plot alternative paths during a conversation

A conversation doesn’t require a defined itinerary to be assertive. Of course, the person should keep in mind what needs to be said and should aim to say it in the clearest and most objective way possible. But it’s not easy to predict how the other speaker will act or which pieces of information will be added in the conversation.

Therefore, if it’s necessary, plot alternative paths in the interaction or even change the central theme of the message. 

For instance, if the initial goal was to reproach a collaborator for some mistake they made, but they surprise you with the news that they are going through serious personal problems, there’s no way to continue with the initial subject.

Great leaders know how to dialog and reproach, but they also have a human side.

Therefore, the most important thing is to realize that in a conversation there are always two sides to the story and it’s necessary to understand both of them so that there’s progress for both parties.

3. Learn and train body language

Body language says a lot about a person. That’s why assertive communication starts with a confident speaker, who can look at people in the eye, knows how to behave in front of people, and can face difficult or complex situations. Body language is also associated with the speaker’s clothes, mannerisms, and gestures.

These traits will be important to mediate conflicts and motivate people, since it’s hard to trust a leader who’s nervous, aggressive, or can’t communicate well, right?

That’s why assertive managers are constantly learning and always undergo training and updating training and updating.

4. Chose face-to-face dialog

With technological advancements, many interactions are entirely virtual. These options are excellent and quite necessary in many situations, but there are some instances in which a face-to-face conversation is key – like in a conflict resolution, for example.

Communication by email or instant messaging leaves room for misunderstandings, since it’s not possible to demonstrate and understand certain expressions, and this can cause unnecessary situations. 

For this reason, analyze the situation and, if necessary, choose a face-to-face dialog. Additionally, avoid convoluted terms or slang that could hinder your discourse.

5. Use emotions and humor

Establishing an assertive communication isn’t only about saying nice words at the right time. Communication is only complete when there are interested listeners on the other side.

This means that using emotions and humor might be a great way to spark interest and catch the attention of people. But remember to use them with moderation so as not to lose credibility.

Be assertive to be influential

After the content, it’s quite clear that assertive communication is essential for every professional, right? It’s based on it that other traits and skills can be improved, arriving at a positive result in which people can be influenced by the right attitudes.

Communication is one of the most efficient ways to influence people, but it also helps in other aspects besides the professional life. This skill might be a challenge for shy people or introverts, but it should be put into practice by everyone, since it helps with all kinds of interpersonal relationships.

Did you like our content about assertive communication? So, would you like to read our post explaining the meaning of rapport and deepen your learning?