07 Mar 2024

Mastering assertiveness: your guide to confident communication!

Want to enhance your communication skills and handle tough situations with confidence? Assertiveness is the key to expressing yourself clearly while respecting others.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some essential assertiveness techniques that can transform how you communicate and boost your self-assurance.

Understanding Assertiveness Techniques

Assertiveness techniques are versatile tools that work in various situations. It’s important to start practising them in easier scenarios before tackling more emotional ones. Remember, mastering assertiveness takes time and patience—don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t go perfectly at first. Let’s dive into some fundamental assertiveness techniques and how to use them effectively.

Basic Assertion

Basic assertion is about stating your needs, beliefs, or feelings clearly using “I” statements. For example:

  • “I need to leave by 5 o’clock today.”
  • “I feel good about how we resolved this issue.”

Be direct and specific, without over-explaining. This helps ensure your message comes across clearly.

Empathic Assertion

Empathic assertion means acknowledging the other person’s feelings while expressing your own needs. This approach fosters understanding and mutual respect. For instance:

  • “I understand your concerns about the new procedure. However, I need your cooperation until it changes.”
  • “I know you’re busy, Rowan, but I have a request I’d like to discuss.”

Empathy can prevent misunderstandings and defuse potential conflicts.

Consequence Assertion

Consequence assertion is a last-resort technique for situations where someone’s behaviour disregards others’ rights. It involves explaining the consequences of their actions. For example:

  • “If this happens again, I’ll need to escalate it to management.”
  • “I can’t allow my team to collaborate unless everyone has equal access to resources.”

Use this sparingly, maintaining a calm and respectful demeanour.

Discrepancy Assertion

Discrepancy assertion addresses inconsistencies between agreements and actions. It clarifies misunderstandings and encourages alignment. For instance:

  • “We agreed that Project A was the priority. Why the sudden shift to Project B?”
  • “Zara, you’ve talked about improving cooperation, but some statements hinder our collaboration. Let’s discuss this.”

Negative Feelings Assertion

Expressing negative feelings assertively means describing how someone’s behaviour affects you without being aggressive. For example:

  • “When you interrupt me in meetings, I feel upset and it knocks my confidence. Please can you let me finish my point?”

This approach encourages open communication while managing emotions effectively.

The Broken Record Technique

The Broken Record technique involves calmly repeating your stance to maintain clarity and composure. It’s useful in negotiations and boundary-setting. For example:

  • Kate: “Can you work late tomorrow night?”
  • Dave: “I can’t do that I’m afraid.”
  • Kate: “But I really need you to work late.”
  • Dave: “I understand, but I can’t.”

This technique reinforces your position without escalating tensions.

Practising and Mastering Assertiveness

Consistent practice is key to mastering assertiveness. Start with basic assertion and gradually incorporate other techniques. Keep a practice log to track your progress and identify areas for improvement. Remember, assertiveness is about finding a balance—respecting others while advocating for yourself.


Assertiveness is a valuable skill that enhances communication and relationships. By applying these techniques thoughtfully and consistently, you can boost your confidence, navigate conflicts constructively, and improve interactions in all areas of life – in and outside of work.

Practice assertiveness with patience—it’s a skill that will benefit you both personally and professionally. Start today and empower yourself through assertive communication!

If you’d like to know more about Understood can help you develop your employees’ assertiveness techniques, get in touch today.