An essential communication skill in today’s workplace with increased pressures and ever-changing demands is the ability to be assertive. Being assertive enables you to explain yourself clearly, defend your views, stand up for others and speak your truth.
Additionally, being assertive while being honest allows you to honor the rights and beliefs of others. It is important to understand that being assertive does not mean that you always get your way, that your view is accepted or that you are right.
People who are assertive and speak their truth often report increased self-esteem and confidence. Being assertive is also important in these days of overwork, burnout, and work-life balance.
If you find yourself overworked or taking on too many duties, this may be because you struggle to say no. In this regard, being assertive and saying no can help reduce your stress and improve your work-life balance.
Some people seem naturally assertive and confidently speak their truth, but many of us do not have this natural gift of being assertive. The good news is that assertive communication is an interpersonal skill that we can all learn and develop. And of course, assertive communication skills are beneficial in everyday settings, including outside work.
In general, assertive people:
• Report having good self-esteem
The way you see yourself is how your self-esteem is reflected. By choosing to be assertive, you embrace a realistic view of yourself. You acknowledge that you have an equal value to others, which is reflected in how you feel about yourself. And you acknowledge and respect others and appreciate their views.
• Develop into strong leaders
Because leaders gain the respect of others by encouraging their teams to speak up, share ideas and collaborate, assertiveness can be a very effective management style. The team are more likely to respect their superiors’ authority if they feel psychologically safe and respected by them. And a team environment where everyone feels safe to be assertive and speak their truth is both productive and creative.
• Feel positive in their work environments
Employees are more satisfied with their jobs when business culture fosters a sense of community and openness and allow people to speak assertively.
• Positive everyday environments
Outside of the workplace, assertive communication is beneficial to everyone. Healthy personal relationships can be improved by assertive qualities such as showing consideration for the thoughts and opinions of others, being sure of your knowledge and skills, and taking both into account when solving any problems.
Assertive communication skills are an essential skill in today’s world, and it is worth knowing how well you are using your assertiveness. Being assertive does not mean you will get your way or are right. Being assertive is not being aggressive. Also, remember that the cost of not being an assertive communicator can be considerable, including your work-life balance.
If you want to learn more about assertiveness, I run a workshop on Assertive Communication Skills.