Assertive communication is direct and respectful - and is also a core communication skill. It shows that you respect yourself because you're willing to stand up for your interests and express your thoughts and feelings. It also demonstrates that you're aware of the rights of others and are willing to work on resolving conflicts.
Being assertive offers many benefits. If you're someone who takes on too many responsibilities because you have a hard time saying 'no', it can help with stress management. It can also help you:
- Gain self-confidence and self-esteem
- Understand and recognize your feelings
- Earn respect from others
- Improve communication
- Create win-win situations
- Improve your decision-making skills
- Create honest relationships
- Gain more job satisfaction
It can be hard to change your communication style, but here are some tips to help you become more assertive:
- Use 'I' statements. Using 'I' statements lets others know what you're thinking without sounding accusatory.
- Practice saying 'no'. Don't hesitate - be direct and polite. If an explanation is necessary, keep it brief.
- Rehearse what you want to say. If it's challenging to say what you want or think, practice typical scenarios you encounter. Or try writing out what you want to say, first.
- Keep your emotions in check. If you feel too emotional going into a situation, wait a bit. Then work on remaining calm, taking slow, deep breaths. Conflict can be hard for a lot of people.
- Start small. At first, practice your new skills in situations that are low risk. Evaluate yourself afterward and tweak your approach, if necessary.