How Assertiveness can Prevent Arguments
BY EMMA JENKINGS
Are you assertive in conversations? Mediator Emma Jenkings from Mosaic Mediation examines how assertiveness often gets a negative reputation but can actually prevent arguments. What skills do you think a good communicator needs?
There is a common misconception around assertive communication – that assertiveness instigates issues or arguments. However, in my experience as a mediator, for most of the disputes that I have been asked to intervene with, I notice a lack of assertiveness. And that if there had been some more assertive communication, the dispute was likely to have either been resolved or be less complex.
So, why does ‘assertiveness’ get a negative reputation at times?
Well, often because the behaviour that has been defined as assertiveness, is not assertiveness. The behaviour that most people find irritating or too confrontational tends to be aggressive communication, where there might be unnecessary volume, an accusatory tone, speaking over others, not listening and a lack of demonstrating curiosity in communication.