The importance of being...assertive

Let's start with defining assertiveness wink Assertiveness is an ability that can be learnt at any age and step by step integrated in the daily social interactions. It involves expressing one's thoughts, feelings, and needs in a direct, honest, and respectful manner, while also respecting the rights and boundaries of others. You know your rights, you know how and when to demonstrate your views, you know to say no and set boundaries without being aggressive, passive, or manipulative. You cannot harm or humiliate yourselves or anyone else when you are assertive.


Psychologists ensure us that people with this positive personality trait are aware of their rights, as well as the rights of others, and can reflect on this awareness. They are a benefit to both themselves and society (Parmaksiz, 2019). I would say even that they are a blessing for themselves but also for the families they live in, for the companies they work for and in general for the human society as a whole. Why? Because they are able to bring balance in conflictual situations, to keep healthy relationships at work and in personal life. Assertive people bring value wherever they are and what they say is impactful.

An assertive society... it means a world without depression, anxiety and aggressivity. Well, I know... it is not a realistic scenario, but if all of us become aware little by little and communicate/behave in an assertive manner, then we would experience a better us, a better you and a better me and ultimately, we would live a better life.


Now, if you look at organisational environment, we will notice that assertive communication within a corporate team offers several benefits that contribute to a positive work environment and to the overall success of the team. Here are some specific advantages:


  • Improved Collaboration: Assertive communication encourages open dialogue and active participation among team members. It promotes the sharing of diverse perspectives, ideas, and expertise. When team members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions, it enhances brainstorming sessions, problem-solving, and decision-making processes. Collaboration improves as everyone's input is valued and considered.
  • Enhanced Productivity: Assertive communication reduces misunderstandings and ambiguity within the team. Clear and direct communication ensures that tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines are effectively communicated. As a result, team members have a better understanding of expectations, leading to increased productivity and efficient workflow.
  • Increased problem-solving: Assertive communication encourages open dialogue and the expression of diverse perspectives. Team members feel comfortable sharing their opinions, concerns, and proposed solutions. This collaborative environment fosters effective problem-solving as it allows for brainstorming, critical thinking, and the exploration of different approaches to challenges.
  • Improved decision-making: Assertiveness allows individuals to contribute their perspectives and ideas without fear of judgment or criticism. This fosters a more inclusive decision-making process and encourages diverse viewpoints, leading to more well-rounded and informed decisions.
  • Effective Conflict Resolution: Conflict is inevitable within any team, but assertive communication helps manage and resolve conflicts constructively. Assertive individuals express their concerns, perspectives, and needs in a respectful manner, allowing conflicts to be addressed openly. By actively listening, understanding different viewpoints, and seeking compromises, team members can find mutually beneficial solutions and maintain positive working relationships.
  • Increased trust and respect: Assertive communication builds trust and respect among team members. When individuals can express themselves openly and honestly, they feel valued and understood. Team members are more likely to trust one another's intentions and abilities, leading to better collaboration, cooperation, and support within the team.
  • Increased Accountability: Assertive communication encourages team members to take ownership of their actions and responsibilities. When individuals express their needs and set clear expectations, it helps establish accountability within the team. Each member understands their role, the tasks they are responsible for, and the impact of their contributions. This promotes a sense of ownership and commitment to achieving team goals.
  • Stronger Relationships: Assertive communication fosters trust, respect, and mutual understanding among team members. When individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves and know their opinions are valued, it strengthens the bonds within the team. Trust and respect create a supportive and inclusive environment, where collaboration, empathy, and teamwork flourish.
  • Personal and Professional Growth: Assertive communication promotes individual growth and development within the team. By confidently expressing their ideas, taking on new challenges, and seeking feedback, team members can expand their skills and knowledge. Additionally, assertiveness encourages the recognition and acknowledgment of individual achievements, paving the way for career advancement opportunities.
  • Stress Reduction: Assertive communication minimizes the stress and anxiety that can arise from unclear expectations, unaddressed conflicts, and unexpressed needs. When team members feel comfortable speaking up and expressing themselves assertively, it reduces the likelihood of bottling up emotions or concerns. This leads to a healthier work environment with reduced tension and increased overall well-being.​​​​​​​
  • Positive and healthy work environment: Assertive communication contributes to a positive and healthy work environment by fostering a culture of open communication and transparency. When team members feel comfortable expressing themselves and are encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns, it creates an inclusive and supportive atmosphere. This, in turn, promotes employee engagement, satisfaction, and overall well-being. Moreover assertiveness enables individuals to set and maintain healthy boundaries. It allows them to establish limits on what they are willing to accept, ensuring that their needs and rights are respected. This leads also to the maintenance of a healthy environment. 

By promoting effective and respectful communication, assertiveness contributes to a harmonious and productive corporate team. It creates a culture of collaboration, accountability, and growth, enabling the team to achieve its objectives and maintain high levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

Remember, assertiveness is not about being aggressive or dominating others. It is about finding a balance between expressing yourself and respecting others. With practice and perseverance, you can become more assertive and confident in your communication.


What do you think about this topic? Do you have other ideas or lessons learnt?

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