August 10, 2021 –

Assertive communication in the workplace

Table of Contents

In these trying times, how we communicate is vital to maintain a healthy work environment, assertive communication can help us!

Assertive Communication - Group of people working and smiling

One of the biggest challenges we are facing in the professional atmosphere is the lack of assertive communication.  Not so long ago, internal business communication wasn’t as complex as it is today. We live in a digital world, eyes peeled to screens residing behind them.


The minimum human-to-human interaction in a professional context has developed thousands of ways to humanize our digital conversations, in which we have found ourselves comfortable, from emojis to acronyms, gifs, and more.


But in this world of change and constant effort to communicate more pleasant, are we trying clearly and concisely? Have we kept the original, correct message? The one we want it to deliver and have a premade notion of how we want them to perceive it? Is it going through? 


If we check our calendars, we have an excessive amount of meetings. We have caught a severe case of ´meetingitis.` There is no longer a noticeable potential of these spaces we have. We no longer take advantage of them. It’s an overscheduled life. Still, in the end, the finality of them gets lost. 


The reason? It´s all because we are not communicating assertively, the one key we could use to free space in our lives, but also to get back to interacting with people and not only to share a screen.

What is Assertive Communication?

When it is time to talk, we usually stumbled in conversations, mumbling words trying to find the message; this makes space for confusion, suppositions, and misunderstandings; we need a practical, clear, direct way. That’s assertive communication. 


When put into work, assertiveness does not let any time for confusion or misinterpretations. For example, another immense challenge that AC tackles is the loss or incapacity of listening. A terrible flaw in professional and casual communication is that we hear just to respond without listening, analyzing, or processing the information, so our response is automatic and incongruent. 


Due to this deficiency, we have become comfortable with interruptions, cutting short the other person’s message, making it look unimportant, or not reaching their finality and losing the essence and intention.

Assertive Communication - People working on a table

How to take the most advantage of our workplace communications?

With these following steps:

  • Analyze the purpose of the meeting: Could this have been an email? Define if the meeting subject is something you could resolve in a more accessible and direct way.
  • Do the meeting, but have a plan: Get an objective for why everyone has gathered, stick to the program, and make sure that you, or everyone, are prepared beforehand.
  • Have key points: Make a list of the topics to discuss, and based on that, make a sublist with ideas that should connote too. 
  • Be an active listener: When someone is talking, we let them know we listen by not interrupting, taking notes, and understanding. Not what usually happens when people just hear.
  • Make use of your notes: Taking notes is a big help when ideas surface while someone is speaking because it keeps your questions, analysis, and more in check and be practical ahead to give feedback, disagree with someone, or better yet, contribute.
  • Share your response: Once the other person has finished, it`s time to expose your point of view; that way, the message is appreciated and used as a growing tool. It is optimal to share your point next in a punctual, optimal way. 


These steps can seem easy, but once we apply them daily, we will denote past mistakes. The more we use them, the more we will see how the communication becomes more fluent, effective, and precise, and people will receive our message better and be an easier interaction for the things that matter at our workplace. 


Also, if we have to delegate, assertive communication makes responsibilities assigned more exact and transparent on the expectations.

Assertive communication, the latent solution

If we use it constantly, we will simplify every aspect of our interacting lives and those around us. Let’s make our work culture more understanding and comprehensive, where everyone’s heard, understood, and respected.

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