Many employees complain about the way their supervisors communicate. There are two extremes I hear about constantly. One extreme is a supervisor who is overbearing and makes unrealistic demands of their staff and the other extreme is a supervisor who is inactive and doesn’t know how to take charge.

Both extremes are ineffective and will ultimately result in lower productivity and an unsettled working environment.
As a supervisor you are in a leadership position. You have the responsibility to state your needs and your group’s needs in an effective way while respecting the rights of the people you lead. The only way to do this is to become an assertive communicator.

A supervisor who learns to communicate assertively gains the respect of the people they lead, produces more revenues, and creates a success minded environment for their team.

An assertive supervisor will be able to:

• Ask for what they need from their team and management in a productive way.
• Set deadlines that are respected by their team.
• Handle inter-office conflicts in a non-combative way.
• Say no effectively without violating the rights of their team members.
• Know how to deal with difficult people and situations.
• Lead with authority & respect.
• Know the best time to address difficult issues.
• Draw out the strengths of their team members that will promote overall success.
• Know how to give and receive feedback.

These are just some of the key benefits of becoming an assertive supervisor. If you are struggling in any of these areas it is time to become more assertive. The benefits of becoming an assertive communicator far out way the time investment of changing the way you communicate currently. Being assertive means you respect yourself and you respect your team members.

One key to becoming an effective assertive communicator is to learn how to use “I” statements when you talk to an employee. This allows you to take ownership of your feelings and actions and it puts your team member at ease when you approach them with a directive.

For example:

Imagine that you are in the office and a project comes to your attention that needs to be completed by the end of the day. A team member comes to mind who you know is capable of completing it. You walk over to her desk but she is working on another project.

The assertive way to communicate this need using “I” statements looks something like this:

“Mary, I just had a project come to my attention that needs to be completed by the end of the day. I would like you to complete it for me. I noticed you are in the middle of something but do you think this is something you can do for me.”
Mary now knows what your need is and she has been given permission to respond without feeling pressured.

She may say something like this:

“Jim, I can do that for you but I need to set aside the other project you gave me yesterday if I am going to have the time to get this one done before I leave.”

This puts the ownership of both projects back to you and gives you the right to determine which project is of more importance.

Your response might be:

“I completely forgot you were working on that project. Go ahead and finish that one and I will get Steve to complete this one.”

Or you might say:

“This project is more important. Can you set that one aside until tomorrow and work on this one?”

This scenario shows how being assertive eliminates stress and respects the rights of both you and Mary. As you become more assertive you will see better results from your team members. Being an effective assertive communicator in the work place creates a win-win environment for all parties.

Author's Bio: 

Holly is a sought-after speaker, life coach, and teen mentor, who has an incredible ability of teaching people how to achieve their personal and professional goals. Her inspirational and life changing messages provide people with the tools they need to live above life’s challenges. For years she has been teaching people how to overcome the obstacles that keep them from moving forward in life.