The productivity-boosting skill every employee and manager needs to tap


Assertive communication isn’t arrogance. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

There is an immortal adage that says that communication is the lifeblood of organisations. One can also add that it is the lifeblood of well-performing relationships.

Outstanding organisations and relationships invest time and resources in transformational and impactful communication.

Further, it is job seekers who understand the nuts and bolts of essential communication who get the job.

Assertive communication isn’t arrogance. Confident communication is characterised by conflict management, the production of brand-new ideas, being courteous regardless of the provocation, being professionally direct, and transparent, and saying no without being obnoxious.

The reasons why organisations or relationships ought to inculcate assertive communication are myriad. Confident communication promotes a free and fair environment for growth.

There is an exchange of information vertically and horizontally. This kind of communication boosts intellectual stimulation and total well-being.

How can we refine positive communication? Body language counts volumes. That is why we are encouraged to watch body expressions besides words.

People infer several meanings from our nonverbal cues. Enduring communication must include body language.

Most seminars on communication miss this segment or gloss over it. Remember words only contribute to seven percent. So where should we plough money in designing human connections?

One of the building blocks of magnificent communication is the possession of positive self-talk. Phenomenal and deliberate self-talk is morale-boosting internal dialogue.

It is the visualisation of the good results that await one after a goal has been earmarked. The commonest glue in self-talk is having well-assessed affirmations and competency mapping.

What is confidence without skills? Confidence must be accompanied by a slew of proven adroitness.

A journey of a thousand kilometres starts when we take one step at a time. One cannot experience the merits of assertive communication immediately.

It takes time, capitalisation and effort to ace articulation and lucidity. Assertive communication progression is a marathon.

When I train clients on public speaking I remind them to rehearse with friends, and colleagues or use the mirror to solidify and internalise presentations. A strategy that is as old as the hills in achieving success.

Organisations are products of continuous strategic improvements. Without assertive communication, strategic intent will fizzle out.

Employee engagement is one of the predictors of high performance. When employees are disengaged it means that productivity is negatively affected.

This is so because stakeholders cannot air their thoughts and feelings freely. Stakeholder disengagement means there is no psychological safety.

Psychological safety means zero retribution for feedback, support, expressing clear expectations, and reframing failure.

In an environment where there is psychological safety, there is learning and development. An organisation is as great as its knowledge exchange and management.

Performance management conversations can never achieve the intended strategic ends if there is no bold exchange between the appraiser and appraisee.

Fear is the greatest enemy of successful performance conversations. Any strategist who intends to improve the exceptionalism of the teammates must instil a setting of believability.

Can assertive transfer of information between one or more sides be used to manage stress? Yes, assertive communication can be deployed quite well in the management of stress.

If we don’t use good communication skills it will translate into the bottling up of explosive emotions.

When stakeholders aren’t trained to be assertive it will create anger management consequences. Assertive communication will cure this.

Organizations that thrive consistently are those that engender empowerment. Empowered employees make quality decisions.

This means that employees have the power to perform their duties without undue micromanagement.

Toxic organisations do not inspire respect and courtesy.

Undoubtedly emotional intelligence has become a hot topic to train employees because of the innumerable benefits that are accrued to it.

One cannot increase self-awareness without self-confidence. One cannot appreciate other team members without abundant confidence.

One can’t stretch their social currency or networking skills without a decisive exchange of information or interests.

One cannot be highly motivated without being assertive. Can one self-regulate without some form of discipline?

It is positively confident people who accomplish memorable feats. To achieve goals, one has to exude some modicum of audacity.

Life is hard. Life is very tough. That is where well-grounded communication comes in handy.

Assertive people overcome failure more than the rest. Assertive people have grit.

Creative and innovative benefits can only be nurtured in a free and fair environment. New ideas are fragile. Exponents of freshness have to put their best foot forward to succeed.

If we don’t have self-belief we won’t defend our new ideas adequately. New ideas require a lot of staying power because of the usual hindrances.

Conflicts or disagreements in an organisation can cause a lot of disservice. Of course, conflicts can also be agents of socialisation.

What is the most effective arsenal for containing disagreements? It is assertive communication.

Mr Magoma is a HR specialist and trainer | [email protected]

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