I run a number of Assertive Communications workshops for a group of hospitals in London. The purpose is to encourage staff to recognise the dangers inherent in people behaving both agressively or passively in a hospital setting. It is of course just as damaging for commercial organisations as well.
Someone once said Assertive Communications can be defined as:
Making your point without making an enemy
Assertiveness is a form of interpersonal behaviour which consists of open, honest and direct communication. Each person shows consideration and respect for themselves and for the other person, or people involved. It is about solving problems not about trying to solve people.
People who choose to communicate aggressively tend to create I Win – You Lose situations. They will often try to dominate and manipulate people by putting them down. They are rarely, respected by others.
People who communicate passively create You Win – I Lose situations. They will often avoid conflict or ‘give in’ rather than put their point of view in an assertive way. They need to respect themselves in order to be respected by others otherwise they will feel resentful and feel they are being treated like a doormat.
Both types of behaviour will lead, long term, to the demise of the organisation you work in.
Assertive communication tends to lead to I Win – You Win situations. People who choose assertive behaviour respect the fact that they have an opinion and a point of view and also respect that others do too.
Our self study guide Assertiveness Made Easy will help you to establish whether you are assertive and gives helpful pointers to improving your relationships with others. It contains everything you need to know about being assertive.