The process of communication is fundamental to our personal and professional lives. Depending on the communication styles we use, we will achieve better or worse results.
In the next article we will see what are the different types of assertive communication that exist; this way you can adapt them to your life and have a better experience in your interpersonal relationships.
What is assertiveness?
The process of assertive communication consists basically in taking care of the content and form of the ideas we express without leaving in the inkwell what we want to say and at the same time without attacking others; that is, it is not enough that what is being said is true and appropriate, it is also necessary to express it with respect and empathy for the other.
In this way, the different types of assertive communication seek to get the message to the receiver in a better way, without making him feel threatened or insulted by what is said or how it is said.
Assertive communication is therefore a form of communication free of interference, which seeks to promote a better understanding between all the parties involved, and in which the aim is to avoid a lack of honesty or transparency for fear of expressing conflicting ideas .
Types of assertive communication
This is a summary of the main types of assertive communication. In each, emphasis is placed on a characteristic aspect of assertiveness.
Assertive communication based on the expression of feelings
Assertive people have no problem expressing their feelings in a fluid way, because they don’t see it as a sign of weakness but as a way of approaching to others. However, it is important to be able to detect with whom we can talk about certain subjects.
2. Based on expressing respect for others
When you are assertive you take into account the respect for other people , and you try to make others notice it. Telling the participants of the conversation that we take into account their opinions and respect them is a sign of transparency.
3. Based on implementing active listening
Assertive communication not only takes into account how things are said, but also how listening is implemented. A person who practices assertiveness knows how to keep silent at certain moments in order to listen carefully to the points of view of the other participants .
4. Based on the control of one’s emotions
The level of mastery one has over one’s emotions is key to possessing assertive communication. If we allow our emotions to dominate us and we act on the impulse of the first negative stimulus, we are far from being assertive.
Ideally, we should be able to tolerate frustration and keep our emotions under control so that we can later express our feelings more clearly and respectfully.
5. Based on eye contact
This is one of the types of assertive communication that gives most weight to non-verbal communication. Eye contact is important during the communication process, as is a way of transmitting security and closeness to the other person .
When we use assertive communication in any circumstance we must maintain a natural eye contact with our interlocutor.
6. Based on maintaining control over our tone of voice
The tone of voice represents the way we say things. It is not the same to express ourselves with a calm and clear tone of voice as it is to express ourselves through shouting. Even when we disagree with someone, we must maintain a psychological climate of respect and cordiality with that person .
7. Based on being careful with body posture
Our body posture also conveys a message, it is what is known as body language and non-verbal. We should try to get our body to go in the same tune as our thoughts and our words .
If we are expressing a relevant idea, our body also has to transmit that message, so that there is harmony between the channels of communication.
8. Based on knowledge of the subject
In order to be able to express ourselves correctly in an assertive manner, it is not enough to have the intention of doing so, but also , one must master the subject to a certain extent , and if this is not the case, then clearly express the extent of our knowledge and make it clear that we are not too expert in the area.
Final tips and recommendations
Some people may interpret assertive communication as an expression of weakness and lack of initiative. In these cases it is necessary to take a firm stance without falling into aggression .
It will be enough to let the person know that despite our non-belligerent attitude we are clear about our ideas and we do not need to shout and mistreat to assert them , without giving too many explanations we make it clear that our position is not negotiable.
The gestures we make when speaking are an extension of our language and largely denote the relevance of the message. Gestures are part of our non-verbal language, and in assertive communication they are relevant so that others can more effectively understand what we are trying to express to them . However, we must be careful not to abuse this resource, as it could be counterproductive to our message.
- Bower, S.A. and Bower, G.H. (1991). “Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change”.
- O’Donohue, William (2003). “Psychological skills training: Issues and controversies”. The Behavior Analyst Today. J.D. Cautilli. 4 (3): 331 – 335.