Tips and Tricks for Positive-Assertive Communications

Tips and Tricks for Positive-Assertive Communications

Our words create the world we live in. Words with negative connotations set the tone for more adversarial dialogue and relations.

How conscious are we of the words we choose to use?

What intentions or objectives do we have when we use them?

Our mindset and demeanour set the table for either a positive or negative reactions. We all have the capacity to ‘reframe’ our language from a reactive to a positive one.

From a Reactive to a Proactive Dialogue


Reactive Proactive
Blame ‘They did not get the info to me on time’

‘You have misrepresented what I said’

‘You never deliver what I ask for’

‘I need to find a way to ensure I get the information on time’

‘I believe I need to explain this more clearly.’

Generalization ‘You are always late’

‘You never give me feedback’

‘I saw you coming in late for the last 3 meetings’

Avoid generalizations such as; always, never.

Be specific

Emotional ‘You have humiliated me’

‘You ignored me completely’

‘You made me lose face in the meeting’

Describe the specific behaviour.

Don’t assume you know their mindset and motives

Judgmental ‘This analysis is unprofessional and confusing’

‘They are incompetent’

‘They are all narcissistic.’

Describe clearly.

‘This report contains no charts or appropriate statistics.’

Critical ‘Your spelling is terrible’

‘Your report is incomplete and does not give me what I need’

‘Would you consider turning the spellchecker on?’

Specify what you need clearly

Demanding, ‘You will have to…..’

‘You need to……’

‘I expect….’

‘How would be if you….’

‘Could you?’ ‘Would you?’

Invite the behaviour you want.

Negative ‘I don’t want to’

‘I did not get what I expected.’

What do you want?

‘I do want……’


Learning to communicate in a more authentic and positive manner helps prevent negative reactions and establish better relations.

Jean-Paul Gagnon, ACC, CHRP is a professional coach, certified as CINERGY Conflict Management Coach. He is also a trained practitioner in conflict resolution. He is a mediator in the workplace and a volunteer community mediator. He has over 35 years of experience in Human Resource Management.                    

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