5 Tips to Assert Yourself in Conversations

assertive communication Jun 26, 2020

Conversations, when done well, are a two-way exchange of ideas, concepts, or information. Sadly, all too often they are not done well. One person dominates the conversation or in a group one or more people are shut out and never get a chance to speak. To make the most of our communications we must learn to be assertive.

Assertive communication is a balancing act between my right to my thoughts / opinions and respect for your thoughts / opinions. It requires us to stand firm in our ideas and right to be heard while keeping an open mind and listening to the ideas of others. Stand too firmly and you become aggressive and shutdown or shut out other voices. By only listening you may become too passive and never get your ideas out into the world. Strike the right balance and everyone leaves the conversation feeling heard and having learned something new.

5 Tips to Being Assertive in Conversations

  1. Be Confident: Know that you have a right to speak up. When in a conversation or a meeting everyone has the right to share their ideas. Be confident in your right.


  1. Speak Calmly: Once you are confident in your right to speak up it’s easier to speak calmly about the topic. You can be enthusiastic or passionate about your topic, however, avoid speaking in anger as that slides into the perception of aggressive behavior.


  1. Listen Carefully: Avoid listening only for a break so you can speak up. Make sure you are paying attention to what other’s are saying and the emotion behind their words.


  1. Be Empathetic: As you listen to the other person’s words and emotions you will develop a better understanding of where they are coming from. You don’t have to agree with everything they say to hear their point.


  1. Avoid Judging: Skip using phrases like “you’re wrong” or “why did you” as they tell the other person you are better than them. Instead use phrases like “I believe this is correct” or “I would have done”. These share your perspective without cancelling out theirs.

As you practice these tips you will find yourself gaining confidence in your ability to speak up in any situation. So next time you find yourself in a meeting wishing you had a chance to say something, take a deep breath and calmly insert yourself into the conversation. If you are assertive in doing so you can get your voice heard.

For more information on communication styles go to www.delta-group-llc.com/training for a free download on communication styles and behaviors.

You can also check out a new course Be Brilliant & Be Heard, even when you are the only woman in the group.



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