Learn how to communicate assertively with these four tips from communication coach Alexander Lyon. Discover the importance of being calm and composed, using I language, active listening, and focusing on your own message. Prepare in advance and practice your assertive message to ensure effective communication.
The video discusses assertive communication and provides tips on how to communicate more assertively. It compares assertive communication with passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive communication. The key message is that assertive communication is the best approach because it allows for clear and respectful expression without emotional noise. The video also emphasizes the importance of preparing and practicing assertive messages, being calm and composed, using I language, and being a good listener.
- We're going to talk about how to communicate assertively.
This is a huge challenge for many people,
and I've gotten a lot of requests for this topic
over the years.
In the first part of the video,
I'll compare and contrast assertive communication
with some of the other types.
And in the second part
I'll give you four tips to communicate more assertively.
Be sure to download my free PDF
that'll give you the five essential communication skills
that all professionals should have.
I'll put a link to that in the description below the video.
So let's compare assertive communication
to other types to get a better handle
on how this fits in.
First many people communicate passively.
That's the first type we'll talk about.
This means they essentially avoid expressing themselves.
They have something that's on their mind,
but they don't say it.
And the trouble with this is
that other people cannot read our minds.
And that means there's a very low likelihood
that we're going to get our needs met.
If we don't talk clearly
about what they are in the first place.
A passive communicator is likely to quietly accept
other people's positions.
They'll say to themselves
well I'll just let the other person have their way.
But over time it becomes a pattern.
Driving forces behind passive communication
could be fear, a desire to avoid conflict,
or just a lack of confidence to speak up.
Next aggressive communication is dominating.
People who communicate aggressively,
do a lot of blaming, attacking, and finger pointing.
They'll say things like it's all your fault,
or you're an awful person.
They're really pushy with their views.
And they want to be in control of the situation.
I used to work with a really aggressive communicator.
These lots of you language,
and they escalated conversations.
You, you, you.
This person would cut people off in mid sentence,
used a frustrated or angry tone.
They waved their arms all over the place
as they talked.
They had a collection of tactics
They used to dominate other people.
That brings us to assertive communication,
which is direct and respectful.
A driving force behind this is the value of mutual respect.
That's the theme.
The assertive communicator is going to say
what's on their mind really clearly,
but they also respect the opinions of others.
Assertive communication means you state your preference,
but you're not attempting to silence or control others.
Instead of you language like aggressive communicators,
assertive communicators, use what we call I language.
So instead of saying you are causing the delay,
they say I'm concerned about the delay.
In other words, they own their perspective.
We'll talk more about how to communicate assertively
in a couple of moments.
The last type is passive aggressive,
which means the communicator doesn't speak up directly
about their feelings.
They let their anger and aggressiveness simmer
just below the boiling point.
And then they let it out in strange ways,
or maybe act like the victim who has no agency
as they express themselves.
I used to work with a passive aggressive communicator.
This person didn't speak up much,
but when they did,
there was usually something a little sideways
about the way they talked.
They used sarcastic comments.
They grumbled to themselves in meetings.
But if you ask them directly,
did you want to add your point of view?
They'd say no, that's fine, I'm good.
But you could tell from their tone, they weren't fine.
Passive aggressive communicators
don't come right out with their aggressiveness.
They let it leak out.
I've also noticed they sometimes gossip
or talk behind your back,
or try to communicate through through somebody else
instead of speaking to you directly.
The question is why then is assertive communication
the best approach for you?
Well, it's the best approach
because in contrast,
if you are aggressive or passive aggressive,
people will be distracted by how you express yourself,
and they won't be able to hear what's really beneath it.
You're giving them two jobs essentially.
You're asking them to hear you,
but you're making it difficult for them to do that
because you're also giving them
an unhelpful communication style to react to.
Assertive communication communicates clearly
and respectfully, but without the emotional noise.
And that means your message is more likely
to hit its mark.
Assertive communicators are more likely
in the end to be heard.
So question for you.
Do any of these four approaches sound like you?
Feel free to post a comment about that below.
Now let's get to some tips
on how to communicate more a assertively.
I recommend that you prepare your assertive message
in advance and practice it a few times
to make sure you're ready.
So let's look at these four tips
to communicate more assertively.
First make sure that you are genuinely calm
and under control before you start the conversation.
If you still have any negative emotions simmering
beneath the surface,
they will leak through if you rush it.
One way to make sure you're calm enough
is to sleep on it and wait another 24 hours.
I often have a good night's sleep right before
an important in conversation.
And it really does help me stay composed.
I have never regretted waiting another 24 hours to talk.
Another tip to make sure that you are genuinely composed
is to draft out your message a few times.
I do this, I draft it out.
I read it out loud in privately,
and then I put it aside for a while.
I get some distance and then I come back and revise it
to take like any remaining emotional edges off it.
And then I practice it again.
I sometimes revise a message three or four times
to take all of the sting out of it
until I feel like I'm ready to say what needs to be said
in a composed way that's genuine.
These revisions help me boil down the message
all the way to its essence as well.
So it's really clear, concise,
and doesn't have anything left
that might escalate my own emotions
as I express myself.
I don't always take my written talking points
into a conversation,
but I at least have them in my head by then.
And you'll know you're ready
when your composure feels sincere.
Second, say what needs to be said
as directly and respectfully as possible.
One key tip for saying this respectfully
is to focus on your part of the conversation,
Don't attempt to control the outcome
or control what the other person does
as a result of what you've said.
Don't play that conversational chess game
in your head before the interaction.
There's a funny scene from the show The Office.
Andy comes back to work from an anger management workshop
because he had punched a hole in the wall,
and Jim immediately tries to make Andy angry again.
But Andy stays calm by repeating
what they taught him in the workshop.
He says out loud, I can't control what you do.
I can only control what I do.
And there's wisdom in this.
Control has a lot to do with our communication problems.
Aggressive communication attempts to control others.
Passive aggressive communication is
at least in part about feeling out of control.
So if you can let go of a desire to control the situation,
it's very liberating.
And you can just say what you need to for your part.
And once you've expressed yourself directly
and respectfully, you've done most of your job here.
You also then respect the other person's right
to have their own point of view,
and give them space to talk about it.
Third use I language.
Let's expand on what we said earlier about this.
I language literally means
focusing on your thoughts and feelings
by phrasing your point of view with the word I,
instead of you.
I language doesn't solve every problem,
but it's one really helpful tool
to start conversations on the right foot.
Instead of saying you're giving me too much work,
you would say I'm feeling overwhelmed
by the amount of work I have.
Instead of you're ignoring my concerns,
say I'm not feeling my concerns are being heard yet.
I language allows the other person to hear your concern
without feeling like they have to defend themselves.
It positions the other person
as a potentially helpful person
who can then take a step towards you
rather than positioning them as a potential enemy.
When I teach I language,
lots of people struggle with this.
They start with "I," but then they sneak a "you" in there.
They'll say things like I feel like YOU are ignoring me,
or I'm concerned that YOU
are going to make us miss our deadline.
They still want to sneak a bit of blame into the message.
If this sounds like how you might approach this,
I recommend revising the message
a little more with I language
and make sure that you're not trying
to sneak any You language in there at all.
Fourth, be a good listener.
Once you've said your piece, hear them out;
let them tell their story.
This means all the basic things that we expect
with good listening
like maintaining eye contact act when you listen.
And when you talk.
Maintain supportive, comfortable facial expressions
as you listen.
It means asking relevant questions
with a genuine motivation to understand
where they're coming from.
Good listening provides enough conversational space
to let them say what's on their mind.
Good listening demonstrates that theme
of mutual respect that we've been talking about.
Another benefit is they are more likely to reciprocate
and attempt to listen well to you.
Listening well is not just professional.
It's also classy.
It communicates honor and respect.
And remember you can't control them
or make them listen to you,
but you can set the right tone
by being a good listener and leading by example.
Listening patiently is also important.
Sometimes you'll hear something
and you'll be tempted to immediately jump in
with your reaction.
It's a much better idea to listen carefully,
ask a few questions to make sure you fully understand
the other person before you react.
That'll also give you a moment
to make sure that your response is assertive,
but not aggressive.
Listening for a little while longer
gives you time to digest their point,
and collect your own thoughts
so that you can then express yourself in a helpful way.
As mentioned, feel free to download that free PDF
where I show you the five essential communication skills
that all professionals should have.
Links to that are in the expandable description below.
Question for you,
how would you rate your own assertive communication skills?
Are you assertive,
or do you lean maybe toward passive, aggressive,
or maybe passive aggressive?
I'd love to hear your own self assessment below.
Until next time,
thanks, God bless,
and I will see you soon.
Communicating assertively is a skill that many people struggle with, but it is an essential skill for professionals. In this blog post, we will discuss assertive communication in more detail and provide tips on how to communicate assertively.
Assertive communication is direct and respectful. It is a balance between expressing your thoughts and feelings and respecting the opinions of others. Unlike passive or aggressive communication, assertive communication focuses on clear and effective communication without emotional noise.
Passive communication is when a person avoids expressing themselves and fails to communicate their needs effectively. This often leads to their needs not being met because others cannot read their minds. On the other hand, aggressive communication is dominating and involves blaming, attacking, and finger-pointing. It is an attempt to control the conversation and often leads to a breakdown in communication.
To communicate assertively, it is important to prepare your message in advance and practice it to ensure you are ready. Take the time to calm yourself and make sure you are genuinely composed before starting a conversation. Draft out your message and revise it to remove any emotional edges that might escalate the situation.
When it comes to expressing yourself assertively, focus on your part of the conversation and avoid trying to control the outcome or the other person's actions. Use "I" language to communicate your thoughts and feelings without sounding accusatory. By owning your perspective, you allow the other person to hear your concerns without feeling attacked or defensive.
Lastly, be a good listener. Once you have expressed yourself, give the other person the opportunity to share their point of view. Maintain eye contact, ask relevant questions, and demonstrate a genuine desire to understand where they are coming from. Good listening shows respect and can encourage the other person to reciprocate and listen to you.
In conclusion, assertive communication is a valuable skill for effective communication. By communicating assertively, you can express your thoughts and feelings clearly while maintaining respect for others. Practice these tips to improve your assertive communication skills and enhance your professional interactions.
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When interacting with customers, it is important to match their mood and energy. Use warm and professional tone for most conversations, but be firm when necessary. Mirror their behavior and choose the right tone to be taken seriously.
Effective leadership communication has a profound impact on customer support. It helps align teams, improve service, and inspire exceptional customer experiences. By creating a meaningful shared story, leaders can drive positive change throughout their organizations.
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