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Assertive Communication Examples

15+ Assertive Communication Examples and Scenarios for Smart Managers

Communication skills are vital to a successful career. From getting work done to building relationships, communication skills are essential to getting things done.

Regarding communication skills, assertiveness is one of the most valuable and overlooked skills that sets people apart. Assertiveness is about being able to voice one’s needs and feelings without feeling threatened or judged by others. It is about expressing what you need and want in a way that allows others to understand and respect your needs while still respecting theirs.

This blog covers 12 assertive communication examples that can help people improve their assertive communication skills and stand out in the workplace.

Let’s Start!

What Is Assertive Communication?

Assertive communication is a form of communication that is clear, concise, and to the point. It involves setting boundaries and speaking up when needed. Assertive communication isn’t aggressive or rude. Instead, it requires understanding and using the other person’s perspective. 

There are three basic steps to assertive communication:

  • preparing for the conversation
  • having the conversation
  • responding afterward. 
The first step is to prepare for the conversation by thinking about what you want to communicate and why it’s crucial. Once you’ve had time to consider your intentions and objectives, you can better frame your message in a way that will be effective and clear to the other person. 

The next step is to have the conversation with assertiveness, being clear, concise, and direct in your language and tone of voice. Listening actively to understand what the other person was saying would be best without interrupting or debating every point made. 

Finally, after the conversation, review your notes from the interaction to reflect on what transpired and assess your assertiveness at that moment. Doing so will help you become more assertive in future conversations.

Did you know there are different assertive communication styles? Follow the link to know more about them!

Why Assertive Communication Skills are Important

Assertive communication skills enable you to communicate your wants and needs clearly and concisely. In addition, these skills help build trust and rapport with others, which in turn helps resolve conflicts among team members peacefully. 

Assertive communication skills help you take control of your life and relationships, allowing you to be more assertive in situations that frustrate you. In addition, by embracing your voice and opinions, assertive communication skills can help you build positive relationships with colleagues and friends. 

Practicing assertive communication skills can help you handle difficult customer situations effectively. They can also help you network effectively for business opportunities, building positive relationships with people from all walks of life.

Assertive communication skills help you succeed in any situation or career path and enhance your self-confidence and overall happiness. The advantages of practicing assertive communication are too many to ignore!

Here is why communication is important in the workplace along with some tips for managers!

Assertive Communication Examples

Expressing opinions

The main essence of this point is that assertive communication involves expressing opinions and thoughts in a clear, direct, and respectful manner. It helps individuals to assert their ideas and perspectives professionally and confidently. Here are some assertive communication examples related to expressing opinions.

Scenario 1: During a team meeting, a team member says, “I think that this approach has some potential, but I also have some concerns about how it may impact other areas of the business.”

Scenario 2: In a one-on-one meeting with the manager, an employee says, “I have a different perspective on this project than what has been discussed so far. I think that if we approach it from a different angle, we may be able to achieve better results.”

Requesting action

The main essence of this point is that assertive communication involves making direct requests and taking action. It helps individuals to communicate their needs and expectations professionally and confidently without being aggressive or passive. Here are some assertive communication examples for requesting action.

Scenario 1: An employee says, “Could you please provide me with an update on the progress of the project by the end of the week?”

Scenario 2: A manager says, “Can you please arrange a meeting with the relevant stakeholders to discuss the budget for the next quarter?”

Confronting issues

The main essence of this point is that assertive communication involves confronting and addressing issues in a clear, direct, and respectful manner. It helps individuals to raise concerns and address problems professionally and confidently without being aggressive or passive. Here are some assertive communication examples for confronting issues.

Scenario 1: An employee says, “I noticed that some of the data in the report are incorrect. Can we go over it together and make the necessary corrections?”

Scenario 2: A manager says, “I noticed that some of the deadlines for this project had been missed. Can we discuss the reasons for this and identify ways to get back on track?”

Negotiating

The main essence of this point is that assertive communication involves negotiating and compromising in a clear, direct, and respectful manner. It helps individuals to reach mutually beneficial solutions professionally and confidently without being aggressive or passive. Here are some assertive communication examples for negotiating.

Scenario 1: An employee says, “I understand your perspective, but I feel the budget allocated for this project is insufficient. Can we discuss ways to increase the budget or re-prioritize the project’s scope?”

Scenario 2: A manager says, “I appreciate your proposal, but I have some concerns about the implementation timeline. Can we discuss ways to shorten the timeline while still maintaining the quality of the project?”.

Making requests

The speaker is assertive when they make clear and specific requests, without hesitation or apology. Here are some assertive communication examples for making requests.

Scenario 1: Employees ask their manager for a meeting to discuss their performance. The employee says, “Can we schedule a meeting next week to discuss my performance? I’d like to understand where I stand and what I can do to improve.”

Scenario 2: A team leader asks a colleague for assistance on a project. The team leader says, “Can you please help me with the research portion of the project by the end of the week? I’d appreciate your input and expertise.”

Saying “No”

The speaker is assertive when they decline requests or invitations clearly and directly, without feeling guilty or uncomfortable. Here are some assertive communication examples for saying no.

Scenario 1: An employee denies a request from a colleague to work on a project outside of working hours. The employee says, “I appreciate the offer, but I can’t work on the project outside of my regular working hours. I need to prioritize my personal time.”

Scenario 2: A team leader declines a request from a manager to attend a meeting on a day that conflicts with a previously scheduled vacation. The team leader says, “I won’t be able to attend the meeting on that day. I have a prior commitment.”

Offering constructive criticism

The speaker is assertive when they offer criticism in a direct yet respectful manner, focusing on specific behaviors and actions rather than attacking the person. Here are some assertive communication examples for offering constructive criticism.

Scenario 1: A manager provides feedback to an employee about their performance. The manager says, “I noticed you missed several deadlines on your last project. Can we talk about ways to improve your time management and ensure that deadlines are met in the future?”

Scenario 2: A team member gives feedback to a colleague about their communication skills. The team member says, “I noticed that you tend to interrupt others during meetings. Can we work together to improve your listening skills and allow others to have their say?”

Asking for clarification

The speaker is assertive when they ask for clarification or additional information directly and respectfully. Here are some assertive communication examples about how to ask for clarifications.

Scenario 1: An employee asks their manager for clarification on a task. The employee says, “I’m sorry, but I’m not clear on what you expect from me on this task. Can you please provide more information or examples?”

Scenario 2: A team leader asks a colleague to clarify a project deliverable. The team leader says, “I’d like to make sure I understand what you mean by the project deliverable. Can you please provide more detail or examples?”

Stating clear and specific requests

This is to communicate effectively and clearly what one wants or needs, making it easier for the recipient to understand and respond to the request.Here are some assertive communication examples for stating requests that are clear and specific.

Scenario 1: An employee requests a raise from their manager. Instead of saying, “I need more money,” they assertively state, “I would like to request a salary increase of X% due to my contributions to the team and the company.”

Scenario 2: A manager asks an employee to complete a task. Instead of saying, “Can you finish this today?” they assertively state, “I need this task to be completed by the end of the day, is that doable for you?”

Expressing opinions and beliefs

This is to communicate one’s thoughts and ideas confidently and respectfully, allowing for healthy discussions and decision-making. Here are some assertive communication examples for expressing opinions and beliefs.

Scenario 1: An employee gives feedback on a project proposal in a meeting. Instead of saying, “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” they assertively state, “I have concerns about the feasibility of this proposal and, I believe we should consider alternative options.”

Scenario 2: A manager disagrees with a decision made by their superior. Instead of saying, “I disagree with that,” they assertively state, “I understand the decision, but I have a different perspective and, I believe we should consider other options before proceeding.”

Setting boundaries

The main essence of this is to communicate one’s limitations and expectations in a firm yet respectful manner, helping to maintain a positive work environment and balance in one’s personal and professional life. Here are some assertive communication examples for setting boundaries.

Scenario 1: An employee sets limits with their colleagues regarding their workload. Instead of saying, “I can’t take on any more projects,” they assertively state, “I have a full workload at the moment and need to prioritize my current projects. I’m not available to take on any additional work now.”

Scenario 2: A manager sets boundaries with subordinates regarding their work hours. Instead of saying, “You can’t work from home,” they assertively state, “Our company policy requires that all employees work from the office during regular business hours.”

Dealing with conflicts

Dealing with conflicts deals with communicating effectively in resolving disputes and finding solutions to problems, promoting teamwork and cooperation in the workplace. Here are some assertive communication examples for dealing with conflicts.

Scenario 1: An employee addresses a dispute with a colleague. Instead of saying, “You’re always wrong,” they assertively state, “I have a problem with how you approached this situation and I believe we need to find a solution together.”

Scenario 2: A manager mediates a conflict between two employees. Instead of saying, “You’re both at fault,” they assertively state, “I understand that there is a problem here and I would like to hear from both of you so we can find a resolution.”

Did these assertive communication examples made you think about the scenarios where you were great at communicating assertively and some instances where you were not so great? Check out our free self-assessment for assertive communication to find out how good you actually are. The results will help you in getting insights about your own skills so that you as a manager know exactly where you need to work. Do have a look at the other such free assessments that Risely offers!

Conclusion

Demonstrating assertive communication skills is a powerful way to gain a competitive edge. People who respect you and your opinions will listen to your ideas and work toward a win-win solution. It also builds relationships that last well beyond the communication exchange itself. But, remember, assertive communication can be challenging. It requires self-awareness, empathy, and self-confidence. Thankfully, there are plenty of assertive communication examples on this page to get you started! 

Unlock more resources on assertive communication with a free toolkit 

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