By Shelby Hammel, I/O Psychology Master’s degree Candidate
Below you will find some tips for communicating effectively without being aggressive. When we communicate assertively, we are clear about our opinions but are also open to others’; respect is critical.
There are four styles of communication – please look at the chart below and think about your own communication style. Of course, there are occasions when specific styles can come in handy. However, assertive behavior builds trust and continuity.
It is important to build social ties at work and research points to the need for close and collaborative relationships. However, professionals sometimes resist forming strong bonds with co-workers.
Creating social ties within teams is especially important as collaboration and communication is crucial to accomplishing goals. There are several things that can get in the way of effective communication such as a lack of feedback-rich culture and being unable to provide constructive feedback. Harvard Business Review provides insight into how to give positive and constructive feedback.
If you feel you are not an assertive communicator, there are four steps you can take to become more effective.
- Ask for information you need: Be willing to ask your peers or others for help will make you more effective.
- Give others the information they need to be successful: Offering help and feedback to others will make them more effective.
- Receive information openly: Be willing to receive feedback from others – trust in your peers will help you develop this.
Below are some Do’s and Don’ts of giving feedback:
|Do set realistic expectations||Don’t use overly critical expressions|
|Do meet with individuals privately||Don’t focus solely on your own needs and opinions|
|Do provide data to back up your assertions and share this data||Don’t get defensive|
|Do reach out to peers for feedback||Don’t be scared to provide feedback|
|Do counter difficult individuals with positivity||Don’t avoid conflict|
Things to Think About:
- Think about using assertive communication most frequently.
- Share information though the ASK/GIVE/RECEIVE model as a reminder to yourself.
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