Ineffective communication may cause conflict among people, whereas poor communication strategies can only worsen such conflicts. Thus, people should employ effective communication strategies to successfully communicate with one another and to avoid causing conflict.
One effective means for selecting an effective communication strategy is using the communication continuum. This continuum presents passive to aggressive strategies from left to right. Passive interests are normally used when communication is aimed at protecting the interests of other people over one’s own. On the other hand, aggressive strategies are used when communicating while protecting one’s interests over that of others.
Meanwhile, in between passive and aggressive strategies lie assertive communication strategies. Such strategies aim to protect the interests of all the parties involved in communication.
Assertive communication strategies comprise various techniques that can be found on the communication continuum. Some tend to be more passive, whereas others are more aggressive. Still, no matter which of these techniques are used, the main goal is protection of interests of all parties. Under certain circumstances, people may resort to using more passive or more aggressive strategies.
To communicate assertively with others, people can try the following;
USING “I” STATEMENTS
People should try presenting ideas based on their perspective and without passing the blame to the other party. Instead of saying that a person made them up set, people should just say “I was upset.”
PAY ATTENTION TO MANIFESTED BEHAVIORS
Some people may be tempted to call other people as rude or sensitive. However, they should avoid this undesirable habit and just comment on another person’s behavior without labeling them.
People will tend to use more passive or aggressive techniques if they talk for prolonged periods of time.
BE AWARE OF THE TONE VOICE AND NONVERBAL SIGNALS
Though the right words may be used in a conversation, people should still pay attention to the tone of their voice and nonverbal signals.
LISTEN TO THE OTHER PARTY
People should be attentive to what others are saying to avoid being aggressive in the end.
MAINTAIN PROPER EYE CONTACT
Some people may be thought of as dishonest when they do not maintain proper eye contact during conversations. However, when people use too much eye contact, they may present an aggressive impression. Normally, people should maintain eye contact and take a few seconds to break away their gaze.