Open & Assertive Communication
Open and assertive (assertive not to be mistaken for aggressive!) communication is a skill that is crucial in building strong relationships, a crucial component of powerful team performance. And it is often one hurdle that team members face. The quote by George Bernard Shaw says it perfects, "the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." The conversations that we avoid are often the ones that are most needed to find clarity, understanding and next steps. Keep reading, communication is an art and we will provide you with some tools and practice throughout the unit.
Communication begins with understanding your own perspective and the willingness to determine how the other person views a situation. Communication skills include the ability to listen and ask questions in order to clarify the message being communicated.
Successful communicators develop skills for sending and receiving information with minimal loss of meaning. Key skills include:
- Engaging in open dialogue
- Deep listening practices
- Mutual Inquiry
- Clarifying your own perspective and assumptions
As you read through the materials in this Unit on Inclusive Communication, consider your style of communication (your strengths and opportunities for growth).