Assertive behaviour respects other people’s rights and feelings, as well as your own rights and feelings. Assertiveness requires the ability to be forceful, in a respectful way, as well as the ability to listen. There are times when it may be appropriate to be passive, or other times when you must take a more aggressive stance.

But conversations that include thoughts and feelings are more powerful, more rewarding, and more likely to have a positive effect on all concerned. Although we may speak assertively, if our body language does not reflect that position then the message can become confused. However, assertiveness is the only behaviour that’s designed to promote win-win outcomes.

Body language can help to determine whether the deliverer of the message is being assertive, dominant or aggressive, or passive.

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