Developing Assertive Communication Skills

Have you ever been in a situation when it was hard to say no or ask for something like a pay rise?

To be honest, many teachers experience stress because of their workload and difficulties declining unacceptable requests or requesting reasonable working conditions. This is a life skill that we all need to develop, in my opinion.

First, it’s important to create a positive self-image and build up self-confidence. Think whether you deserve unfair treatment, lack of support from the administration or permanent anxiety at work. If not, it’s time to change that.   

There are a number of verbal and non-verbal ways to enhance job performance and satisfaction. Here is a collection of some basic tips that can help you achieve what you want.

  • Choosing the right time for a serious conversation

Consider the right time for your request and don’t approach your boss during their lunchtime to avoid unwanted consequences. The meeting may be worth arranging in advance to make it easier for both parties.

  • Your confident manner, facial expression and direct eye contact

It is worth working on what you look like and how you speak to be able to send the right message. The tone of voice shows if you are calm or losing your temper. If someone’s voice cracks, it’s apparent that the person is upset, which won’t help you achieve your aims.

  • Being clear and using a positive language

It’s easier said than done but it seems that high self-esteem and understanding of your goals must be the key components of assertive communication. Instead of showing your dissatisfaction, try to smile and start the meeting by saying what you like about the job and something that you want to change. Don’t be vague and try to avoid threatening and criticism. Positive requests are likely to be more effective.

Further reading:

Would you like to share your thoughts and experience about how to be assertive?