In these times, much appeal is made to communication techniques, a tool that is necessary for the development of society, of the human being as a sociable being and that needs to be interrelated to survive. Assertive communication is one of the great protagonists for this to happen.
Ideology, creed, religion, or any type of opinion can be contrary depending on who our interlocutor is, the group we belong to, or the social class to which we belong. Even within our identity group, we can have differences of thoughts. This is where assertiveness comes into the picture.
Assertive communication characteristics
You have to start by first defining the concept of assertive communication to fully understand its nature. To begin with, assertiveness is that ability that people have who can say things frankly, directly, and clearly about what they think or want to say.
All this, of course, avoiding hurting the feelings of the interlocutor or the audience, being polite, and not belittling the idea of others. That is why the implementation of assertive communication is so complicated. We all get offended when the other thinks or says something that goes against our integrity or thinking. On many occasions, it is the basis of any conflict, be it family or friendship, as well as in the professional field.
In short, assertive communication is the ability of the human being to communicate respecting others, taking into account verbal ability (debate / discuss), non-verbal language (gestures/expressions), and attitude (respect). Above all, we must respect others if we want to earn the same attitude.
How to improve assertive communication, in 8 steps
Some people have a more or less assertive way of communicating built-in, however, it is not an innate quality. The personality of each one will make us assertive to a greater or lesser degree. So here are some steps to improve this skill.
We have to identify our oral ability, our style. How do we debate or argue? As in any type of solution, we must identify the problem. What prevents us from being more assertive? The language we use is very important. An aggressive style reduces the complicity of the other. A passive attitude makes us lose ground in the affirmation of our ideas.
#2.Learn to listen
It is one of the main requirements to perfect our communication methods. First of all, learn to listen to others, let them express their ideas and do not interrupt them, maintain eye contact and try to show expressiveness. All these steps are essential to gain the trust of the receiver.
#3.Speak in the first person
The most common mistake. It is not necessary to question the other by showing him that he is in error, making him see that he is wrong with those ideas that you do not share. Use the “I” as a vehicle for your presentation. Example: “I think this is so” and you are not “wrong”. This little trick avoids offense or the feeling of accusation.
#4. Know how to say “no”
You have to know how to oppose an idea or conviction simply by saying no. This without having to feel guilty, without making the other see that we deny their ideas. It is simply a way of reaffirming our point of view. Oddly enough, a wrong way to use denial often leads to destructive discussions.
#5.Search for encounters
There are always points in common, always, no matter how confronted one position or idea is with the other, there are elements that can lead us to converge. Finding common ground is a way of negotiation, of being able to get something positive avoiding extreme positions. In short, generate a win-win situation. Neither losers nor losers.
Assertive communication does not have to be exclusive to the use of the word or oratory. Body language can have a role that many ignore. Posture, eye contact, hand gestures, smiles, can convey a kind and empathetic touch with the other.
This does not mean that we hide emotions or expressions. You just have to avoid showing them excessively. For example, anger is very difficult to contain when we are angry in an argument or debate when we are disrespected. You have to know how to overcome these situations, and that way we will have a lot of cattle. Nor should you laugh at the other, it shows contempt.
The definitive element to be a good communicator. It is related to the previous point, and often, as human beings, we tend not to accept well the criticism that comes to us from others.
It is inevitable, but not impossible. When they criticize us, we must know how to accept it, self-criticism makes us gain trust and respect with others.