In the earlier article, “5 reasons why you must learn assertive communication”, we discussed what exactly we mean by assertive communication and why one needs to learn assertive communication.
The simplest way of identify an assertive communicator is by judging whether or not the communication had the quality of 3 C’s.
These 3 C’s are:
An assertive speaker has all the 3 qualities and hence he or she is able to effectively present their point of view as well as accept and respect other’s opinion.
Below are 5 tips that can help you in becoming an assertive speaker:
- Get in touch with your own needs – Do you actually know what you want? What exactly you want to say, how and when you should say it and what you say is actually relevant?
Most people live in a loop where they believe that people are mean to them, everyone is playing against them and nobody understands them. First, they need to analyze whether or not they understand themselves. Did they tried saying their point of view in front of the mirror, what was the feedback? You can be assertive only once you know exactly what you believe in, what your view point is in a particular scenario. So, start by listing down your own needs.
2. Just say No – Having the power to say “No” is an extremely important part of being assertive. You will learn this by practice. Stop saying Yes to things you would not like to do, simply because you want to please someone. If it’s an occasional request, you may offer your help, however, there are some people who would take advantage of your generosity. In such moments, assertively say No to them. You would need to watch your tonality and speed of speech during this time. Make sure your tonality is very polite and your speed of speech matches the speed of the receiver.
3. Don’t try to control other’s behavior – An important part of being assertive is being able to accept others point of view and respect it as much as you would like to respective. Before asking we need to learn the art of giving. An assertive communicator respect other opinion and this is only possible when one stops judging things for what they thing they are and instead accept things as they are.
4. Be open to criticism – Criticism are a part and parcel of life. To be criticized you need to first do something. Only people who take action get criticized or get the praise. So, take criticism for what they are. They are just opinions of others about what you did and they judged it according to their perception. On a brighter note, you can take criticism as an improvement opportunity that you received as a result of the action you took
5. Use the Broken Record technique – This is a very effective technique, where you assertively, yet calmly, repeat a message or a command that must be complied with by the listener. When you are in a situation where you would not like to reveal the information but someone is asking again and again, simply use the broken record technique and soon that person would understand your intentions, without feeling insulted. For example: Ravi resigned from his job because of some issues with his boss. He then goes to a party where he accidentally meets an ex-colleague, Raj. Raj asks Ravi, “I heard that you have resigned, what happened?” Ravi does not want to tell the details to Raj and so he uses the broken record technique saying, “I am looking for better opportunities now.” Raj wants some gossip and so he again asks, “ I heard you had an argument with your boss before leaving, what had happened?” Ravi simply answers, “I am looking for better opportunities now.” Raj tries few more times, but gets the same answers from Ravi and so gets tired and moves to meet the next person in the party. In this way Ravi used the broken record technique to avoid giving answers he would like to avoid in an assertive manner.