What does Assertive Communication look and sound like?

Often, we’re encouraged to “Be better at your communication” or “why are you being so passive-aggressive”. The reality is that from a very young age most often we’re taught to look at the ways we shouldn’t say/do something as opposed to what we should. The same may be said for communication styles.


So What does Assertive Communication look and sound like? One of my favourite assertive communication workbooks The Assertiveness Workbook – How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships, speaks to five categories to most communication styles, including passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive communication.


These five categories include,

- Behaviour: This includes making honest, clear and direct statements of my immediate needs to others, while still allowing others to have or hold their own views,

- Non-verbal: Take notice of a calm, relaxed body that feels casual and at ease. Notice how you make frequent eye contact – but of course, let’s not glare, 

- Beliefs: Assertive communication allows you to recognise both you own and others needs are of equal importance,

- Emotion: When expressing yourself you feel positive in your interaction, your self-esteem rises as opposed to feeling rejected, afraid, angry or misunderstood,

- Goal: is to respect both yourself and others when communicating – expressing yourself rather than having to win the conversation or feel compelled to “control” the interaction.