The art of assertive communication is all about getting your point across in a clear and honest manner. Often times we find ourselves needing to defend ourselves when we are not sure what someone’s thinking or feeling. Here is how you can improve your communication skills and become a more assertive person:
o Understand that everyone has their own boundaries and limitations. When you communicate assertively, remember that everyone has their own boundaries and limitations. So, when you communicate aggressively, make sure that you know your limits before you start blasting someone else. Also, always use positive words whenever possible and be careful not to use manipulative words (those that paint all your feelings and thoughts in a bad light). Instead use assertive communication when appropriate.
o Understand that everyone is different and that you cannot say one thing to each and every person. Communicating with others takes place in different contexts and atmospheres. There are various assertive communication styles that you can adopt to effectively communicate your needs and feelings. One way is to simply tell the other person your needs honestly and slowly explain them. Another way is to acknowledge the other person’s feelings and state your agreement with them. Finally, a third way to communicate assertively is to honestly express your honest feelings and opinions.
o Understand that you cannot force anyone to change. It is impossible to instruct or force another human being to do something that they are unwilling to do. While you may be able to convince them to do things your way or adopt a particular behaviour, this will not help in building strong relationships. Instead of trying to force others to act a certain way, learn to be the person who willingly wants to be able to lead and also be able to follow that particular behaviour. Being able to lead through your assertive communication style enables you to be in control of the situation and deal with the other person in a more assertive manner.
o Develop your own sense of assertiveness. While assertiveness is often associated with a negative trait such as competitiveness, it is important to note that there are many positive ways of communicating that can also be considered as assertive communication styles. Some of the best ways of being assertive include using assertive speech patterns, being assertive in your personal relationships and creating an open and honest partnership with others. In fact, being an open and honest partner is an essential part of healthy relationships and it enables you to fully understand the other person while at the same time allowing you to demonstrate your own strong points.
o Pay attention to your body language. People often make mistakes by interpreting their own body language and facial expressions. For example, if you feel like your bossy has been bossy to you all day, all you need to do is look back at the way he or she has been acting and you will be able to interpret that. If on the other hand, your body language says otherwise, then you need to look again at how you are acting.