How to keep your communication assertive with seniors (Not Submissive)
In order to transmit emotions, intentions, and comprehension in a conversation, effective non-verbal communication uses gestures, facial expressions, and body language to support, and augment spoken words. Building rapport, trust, and a mutual understanding between people is vital.
Successful professional relationships in today’s hectic workplace depend on efficient communication. How we work with senior colleagues who have a wealth of wisdom and experience to share is a crucial component of this. A important quality in the business sector is the ability to speak with confidence yet not coming across as excessively submissive. It serves as the cornerstone for growing our professional lives and preserving positive working relationships.
This article will shed light on the best ways to communicate assertively with senior colleagues to keep those connections strong. It’s something that professionals at any stage of their career can do to balance their ideas with the wisdom of more experienced colleagues. Throughout this article, we’ll use real-life examples to show how assertive communication can make a difference in various work situations.
The Importance of Being Assertive When Speaking with Seniors:
Assertive communication means confidently expressing your needs, wants, and ideas while respecting what your senior colleagues think. On the other hand, being overly submitting might result in miscommunications and poor working relationships. According to studies, assertive communication leads to improved problem-solving and team effectiveness. In a team meeting, for instance, if a younger employee has legitimate concerns but silently supports a senior’s choice, it may cause issues if the problem isn’t rectified.
The Influence of Body Language:
Your body language can either support or undermine your assertiveness. To appear more certain and assertive, it’s important to maintain good posture, use friendly gestures, and respect personal space. For example, in a cross-functional project, staying silent when you encounter a big problem because you think your input won’t matter (submissive approach) can lead to delays or less-than-ideal outcomes. But if you confidently share your innovative solution (assertive approach), it can lead to a productive discussion with senior colleagues and improve the project’s chances of success.
Mastering Your Facial Expressions:
Your facial expressions can say a lot about you. To convey assertiveness, remember to smile, stay composed, and actively participate in the conversation. People often make quick judgments based on your facial expressions, which can affect how they see your assertiveness. For example, when a senior offers a fresh perspective, showing a serious expression and asking insightful questions can be both assertive and respectful.
Effective Voice Tone:
Your tone of voice is crucial when communicating assertively. Using a controlled, self-assured, and courteous tone can help you convey your ideas more effectively. For instance, when discussing project challenges with a senior, using a calm and measured voice can show that you’re confident in finding solutions.
Strategies for companies to help employees communicate assertively with their senior colleagues:
Training and Workshops:
Offer training sessions and workshops on assertive communication. These can include role-play scenarios and practical exercises to help employees practice assertive communication skills.
Ensure that senior management and leadership actively promote and model assertive communication. When seniors lead by example, it encourages employees to follow suit.
Create a system where employees can provide anonymous feedback on communication dynamics. This can help identify issues and areas for improvement.
Emphasize Respect and Dignity:
Stress the importance of treating all employees with respect and dignity, regardless of their position in the organization. A culture of mutual respect encourages assertive communication.
Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of employees at different levels. This can reduce power dynamics that may hinder assertive communication.
Maintaining assertive communication with senior colleagues is vital for a productive and harmonious work environment. Using non-verbal communication effectively can help ensure your assertiveness is clear while also respecting your seniors’ opinions. By understanding the importance of assertive communication, mastering non-verbal cues, and using real-world examples, you can build stronger working relationships and achieve greater success in your professional endeavours.