Teachers – communicate with assertiveness

Teachers – Communicate With Assertiveness

As an educator, you will likely need to hone your communication skills in order to effectively communicate with your students as well as other educators, administrators, and parents during the course of your career. Most people are not “born communicators”, but rather learn their communications skills from their environment, upbringing, and of course, through studying communication and practicing various communications techniques. Assertive communication is ideal for teachers and educators because it allows them to convey their thoughts in a respectful manner while listening to the thoughts and opinions of others.

Assertive communication is not to be confused with aggressive communication which is a forceful communications style that is mainly used to get one’s way or to “divide and conquer”. Are you an assertive communicator? Do you bring the style of communication to the classroom, or to the parent conference, that conveys your thoughts in an assertive, yet understanding manner? Let’s look at some way that you can improve your assertiveness when communicating with students, teachers, and others.

Techniques for Enhancing Assertive Communication

Observe other assertive communicators. Chances are that there are many of your peers who have developed an assertive communication style. Their requests, ideas, and thoughts are conveyed to their “audience” with respect, and they listen attentively to other people’s ideas and responses. Ask these great communicators what they do in order to prepare for an event, like a conference with parents or an important meeting. Pay attention to the nonverbal cues that they give off when communicating too and mimic this body language in your own communication style, including ways that they “hold their body”, and facial expressions that they employ.

Watch your tone and your choice of words. Speaking neither too quickly or too slowly are hallmarks of assertive communicators. You want your speech to be perfectly executed so that you seem certain of what you are saying – if you speak too fast, you will come across as a “know it all” or if you speak too slowly, people may get the idea that you are improvising as you go along.

Think before you speak, and prepare in advance when you know you will be speaking in a situation that requires assertiveness. Practice out loud a few times for very important conversations. Use a tape recorder or practice before a mirror.

Be clear about what the main idea or request is that you want to get across when communicating assertively. State what you want. Be precise about your expectations. Let the other person know the specific task you are looking to accomplish.

Listen. The very most important key element in any form of communication is listening. Becoming an effective listener is cornerstone to becoming an assertive communicator. You talk, you listen, even if you do not agree with or accept what the other person is saying. Listening is respectful and allows you to understand where the other party is coming from.

You will come across various situations during the course of performing your duties as a teacher or educator that require assertive communication. Practicing your skills in assertiveness will make you a more effective communicator.

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