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Assertive Communication is communicating in a way that assures a win-win approach. Take a look at the following four styles of communication:
Questions to Ponder:
- Which style do you use in normal circumstances?
- Which style do you use under pressure?
- How can you begin to improve your sense of assertive communication?
Developing Effective Communication Skills
Step One: Start with Heart
- Before you meet, identify your own Style Under Stress and manage it.
- Stay focused on what you really want and maintain dialogue.
Step Two: Ask to meet and name the issue
Step Three: Once at the meeting, name the issue to be discussed again.
- Stay in dialogue when you’re angry, scared, or hurt.
- Discover your stories—how do you justify your behavior?
- Eliminate Victim, Villain, and Helpless Stories, and improve your results.
Step Four: State why the issue is a problem or opportunity.
- Speak persuasively, not abrasively.
- Get your meaning across even with potentially threatening messages.
- Share strong opinions without shutting down contrary views.
- State your mind while making it safe for others to do the same.
Step Five: Learn to Look
- Spot the warning signs that indicate safety is at risk.
- Notice various forms of silence and violence.
- Step back from a conversation and figure out how to make it work.
Step Six: Make It Safe I- Discuss your contribution to the problem.
- Use “I” statements.
- Take steps to rebuild safety and return to dialogue.
- Talk about almost anything—without silence violence.
- Use skills to keep information flowing.
Step Seven: Make It Safe II-Ask the other to respond.
- Establish and maintain mutual purpose and mutual respect.
- Recognize when you’re at cross-purpose.
- Use exploring skills to make it safe for others to speak up.
- Diffuse the violence of others and eliminate silence.
- Get safely to the meaning behind others’ emotions.
Step Eight: Move to Action-decide on next steps needed, by who and when.
- Move from healthy dialogue to taking action and achieving results.
During Crucial Conversations Remember to:
1. Breath and pause
In fight mode, you feel heat, and you raise your voice.
In flight mode, you might feel anxious, and retreat in silence.
2. Know the facts
3. Seek mutual purpose and show respect
4. Share ideas and understandings
5. Determine roles, tasks, and deadlines
6. Reach a decision by commanding, consulting, voting, or establishing consensus.
In some scenarios, it is more important to reach fast decisions than clear instructions as part of the command style. In other situations, it is important to reach a mutual consensus.
Putting It All Together
Your willingness to ask your peers or others for help or feedback will make you more effective individually and will keep others from having to guess about what you need.
Offering your help or feedback to others will make them more effective. Your ability to actively extend assistance or offer feedback involves understanding and appreciating the other person’s needs.
Offering help and feedback is only effective if someone is willing to receive it. The level of trust you have together will influence this capacity.
If you ask and receive feedback you must now take action to create a response to the feedback.
CLI provides coaching, training, and strategic planning services to help your business grow. Our expert, research-based design and facilitation skills will help develop more effective individual contributors, leaders, managers and supervisors, or strengthen teams and collaborative groups. We bring in the best content expertise and blend it with your culture and specific needs.
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