As young people, we are all working on our communication skills – in fact, many not-so-young ones are still working on theirs. We’ve all heard of assertive communication, but what exactly is it, and why is it beneficial?
What Is Assertive Communication?
Have you ever been around a person who is easy to talk with, trustworthy and confident? Someone who is relaxed yet forthright and seems to have mastered the art of speaking directly without causing offence?
That is an assertive communicator.
This healthy and effective communication style is the gold standard for us all to aim for. It lives somewhere between aggressive and passive and generally gets the very best out of people.
But what does it look like?
“I’m sorry that I won’t be able to help you with your assignment tomorrow morning, but I have an important meeting which I can’t miss.”
A statement like this shows that the person cares (apology) but they are firm in their reasons why they can’t help. There’s no ambiguity, no passive-aggression, and no need to take offence.
To learn assertive communication means to be a self-confident person which, in turn, means that you know who you are and what matters to you.
You have also cultivated the ability to listen actively, remain calm and measured, and have likely mastered the art of being positive while aiming for a mutually beneficial solution.
It’s a real challenge to be an assertive communicator, and many people tend to confuse it with aggression or stubbornness. It is, in fact neither.
An aggressive communication style tends to be more abrasive and can border on bullying, and a stubborn person will stick to their guns no matter what logic they are offered.
No matter your career choice, cultivating the art of assertive communication is something that you will benefit from now, and in your future.