Five keys to learning how to communicate (not so positive) news assertively in the work environment
BY RRHHDigital, 00:01 – August 16, 2021
Making good use of communication in the working environment is essential for the working environment and the performance of tasks to run smoothly and efficiently. However, when it comes to communicating less positive news to an employee or a work team, implementing and strengthening certain communication skills or “soft skills” also becomes essential. This is when assertive communication plays one of the most important roles. But what exactly is this type of communication?
“Assertive communication is the tool or the ability to express what one wants, thinks and feels honestly, correctly and directly, without affecting the intentions of the interlocutor and always respecting what the other feels and thinks “says Alfonso Aguilar, communications expert and instructor at Udemy Business – Udemy’s enterprise platform for online learning and training. “It is said that a person asserts himself when he cares about the other person and seeks to communicate transparently, without harming or harming the interests, feelings and dignity of a third party. In the workplace, these types of behaviors are always taken into account to ensure that communication is as healthy and clear as possible ”.
Today, given the job uncertainty caused by COVID-19, there are many fears regarding job stability, hence the importance of using correct assertive communication. For this reason, Udemy, in collaboration with Alfonso Aguilar, presents 5 tips to keep in mind when communicating less positive news in an assertive manner:
Know the other person well. If it is not possible to have a complete “x-ray”, at least have a fairly clear and rough idea of the interlocutor. It helps us a lot to work on essential aspects like the tone or the choice of the right words to include in the speech. Also, taking this into account, we could anticipate some reactions and further refine the message you want to convey. Maintain a comfortable and confident environment. When communicating this news, it is important that the other person feels comfortable, relaxed and confident, through a very natural and conversational conversation. Hence the importance of knowing the interlocutor and working on any reactions that may arise. Smooth and work well the messages. It should never be mentioned that this is “bad news” per se, but rather soften the message and warn the interlocutor that news “neither good nor good” will be communicated. This way we will be able to avoid panic reactions. Using introductory sentences such as “I don’t have any positive news” or “I need to communicate something that you don’t like or maybe don’t like”, helps the interlocutor to prepare emotionally, mentally and morally for what is to come. Likewise, it is also important to indicate, in advance, the seriousness or intensity of the news, so as not to provoke exaggerations, predispositions or unnecessary resistance in the interlocutor. Think about possible solutions to this news. Before communicating the news, we must work and have possible solutions to support the interlocutor and reduce the pressure that this can generate. Also, during the conversation, it would be vital to detect whether the interlocutor needs or needs these possible solutions. The conversation itself will allow us to know and decide whether it is better to leave the interlocutor alone or whether it is better to offer support and alternative solutions. Rhetoric and good communication skills. Rhetoric is key to confidently communicating less positive news. In addition to being the perfect ally to persuade and convince the other, making good use of rhetoric will help us to “face” the possible resistance generated during the communication of this type of information.
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