Assertive communication - what is it and why use it?

Written by Lee Hopkins

What IS assertive communication? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Assertive communication isrepparttar ability to express positive and negative ideas and feelings in an open, honest and direct way. It recognises our rights whilst still respectingrepparttar 107978 rights of others. It allows us to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions without judging or blaming other people. And it allows us to constructively confront and find a mutually satisfying solution where conflict exists.

So why use assertive communication? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All of us use assertive behaviour at times... quite often when we feel vulnerable or unsure of ourselves we may resort to submissive, manipulative or aggressive behaviour.

Yet being trained in assertive communication actually increasesrepparttar 107979 appropriate use of this sort of behaviour. It enables us to swap old behaviour patterns for a more positive approach to life. I've found that changing my response to others (be they work colleagues, clients or even my own family) can be exciting and stimulating.

The advantages of assertive communication ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are many advantages of assertive communication, most notably these:

* It helps us feel good about ourselves and others * It leads torepparttar 107980 development of mutual respect with others * It increases our self-esteem * It helps us achieve our goals * It minimises hurting and alienating other people * It reduces anxiety * It protects us from being taken advantage of by others * It enables us to make decisions and free choices in life * It enables us to express, both verbally and non-verbally, a wide range of feelings and thoughts, both positive and negative

There are, of course, disadvantages...

Disadvantages of assertive communication ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Others may not approve of this style of communication, or may not approve ofrepparttar 107981 views you express. Also, having a healthy regard for another person's rights means that you won't always get what YOU want. You may also find out that you were wrong about a viewpoint that you held. But most importantly, as mentioned earlier, it involvesrepparttar 107982 risk that others may not understand and therefore not accept this style of communication.

What assertive communication is not... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Assertive communication is definately NOT a lifestyle! It's NOT a guarantee that you will get what you want. It's definately NOT an acceptable style of communication with everyone, but at least it's NOT being aggressive.

But it IS about choice

Four behavioural choices ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are, as I see it, four choices you can make about which style of communication you can employ. These types are:

direct aggression: bossy, arrogant, bulldozing, intolerant, opinionated, and overbearing

indirect aggression: sarcastic, deceiving, ambiguous, insinuating, manipulative, and guilt-inducing

submissive: wailing, moaning, helpless, passive, indecisive, and apologetic

assertive: direct, honest, accepting, responsible, and spontaneous

Characteristics of assertive communication ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are six main characteristics of assertive communication. These are:

1. eye contact: demonstrates interest, shows sincerity

2. body posture: congruent body language will improverepparttar 107983 significance ofrepparttar 107984 message

3. gestures: appropriate gestures help to add emphasis

4. voice: a level, well modulated tone is more convincing and acceptable, and is not intimidating

5. timing: use your judgement to maximise receptivity and impact

6. content: how, where and when you choose to comment is probably more important than WHAT you say

The importance of "I" statements ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Part of being assertive involvesrepparttar 107985 ability to appropriately express your needs and feelings. You can accomplish this by using "I" statements. These indicate ownership, do not attribute blame, focuses on behaviour, identifiesrepparttar 107986 effect of behaviour, is direcdt and honest, and contributes torepparttar 107987 growth of your relationship with each other.

How to write emails that get results!

Written by Lee Hopkins

Writing an effective email that getsrepparttar result you were looking for is not as simple as just opening up your email software and hittingrepparttar 107977 keyboard with your fingers.

Writing an email that gets results is an art form - get it right and it is read effortlessly byrepparttar 107978 reader. Get it wrong and it reflects really badly on you.

So if I have just ONE tip to pass on to you it would be this:

When writing your emails throw everything you learnt in English classes outrepparttar 107979 window!

Instead, userepparttar 107980 following tips to make sure that your communication is as powerful and effective as it can be:

1. Personalise: People love to see their name. So personalise your email to them. Even if you are sending out a bulk email to many different people, there are software tools that allow you to personalise each and every email so that it looks as though it has come direct from you and direct to them -- one-to-one.

2. Write just like you talk: Use plain, easy to understand English. Nobody cares if you can use xenophobia and ostentatious inrepparttar 107981 same sentence. Write almost like you are talking to your best mate over a beer. So that means use contractions. Be friendly and personable in your writing.

3. Put passion in your email: Since you don't haverepparttar 107982 luxury of seeing your prospect eye-to-eye to gauge their reactions you need to put extra passion into your message. Even if you think you are overdoing it when you write, your email will seem understated when it gets read. Get enthusiastic!

4. Write to one person: Especially important when you are writing an email that will be sent to more than one person, try to think ofrepparttar 107983 ideal prospect/client as you are writing and makerepparttar 107984 message just for them. Even ifrepparttar 107985 message will be read by thousands of people, every person will read it one at a time. Use "you" and "your" liberally. Focus on them, not yourself.

5. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short: Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and simple.


Sentences (even paragraphs) can even be one word like that last one. And paragraphs should be no more than 4 or 5 lines. You want your email to look easy to read with lots of white space. Make it inviting. Long blocks of words are scary. Paragraph breaks do NOT need to be determined by content.

6. Use plenty of compelling subheads: Subheads should be like mini-headlines. Use them to break up large bodies of text and to bring people back intorepparttar 107986 body ofrepparttar 107987 email.

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