A recipe for assertive communication.

By: Jemma Came, Programmes & Marketing Executive 09/15/2017

In our programmes, we outline four different types of communication styles:


2.Passive aggressive



We could all think of situations when we, our colleagues, friends or family members use these styles.

A person who communicates aggressively expresses an unwillingness to compromise and may talk over others. Those that use passive aggressive communication are often cynical and negative, and employ manipulative techniques to achieve their goals. Submissive communicators will remain quiet, especially when offended, and will put others’ views first, without expressing their own.

Comparatively, assertive communication is positive and direct, without aggression. When we communicate assertively, we will give information, ask for information, and take responsibility.

In the workplace, assertive communication can improve your personal impact and help you to become more effective in your role. It is a bit of an ego-less state: requiring egos to be put aside to allow engagement in and empathy with others’ points of view.

To communicate assertively, we encourage participants to use the DESC model during conversations:

Describe: the purpose of the discussion, the behaviour of the other person and the possible negative consequences,

Explore: your feelings and the other person’s views and feelings,

Specify: that the behaviour is unacceptable, the desired change and the agreed action plan,

Consequences: if the behaviour continues, or the positive effect that the change will have.

Why not give it a go next time you want to communicate assertively? Be sure to follow our top tips for assertiveness below, too!

Our top tips for assertiveness:

1.Be specific and concrete

2.Own your statement by using the word ‘I’

3.Raise your words not your voice

4.Stay calm

5.Describe your needs, views and feelings open and honestly.

Let us know how you get on!