Communicate What You Need

When people don’t communicate what they need, it results in a lose-lose for themselves and others around them.

I recently experienced this in my personal life. I’d been traveling (mostly for fun and personal time off) several weeks in a row and my wife and I were invited on an out-of-town trip to the mountains with friends. I immediately said yes, because spending time with friends and family is one of my core guiding principles.

But, I was also exhausted and truly wanted to be at home after spending much of the past month as a road warrior. I didn’t take care of my own needs.

The result?

Frustration . Lack of engagement. Disregard.

The same thing happens in the workplace when we don’t communicate what we need to the people around us – the people we lead and work with.  When we put others’ needs ahead of our own, eventually what simmers under the surface comes to a boil.

Instead we should seek to communicate assertively.

Sam Lloyd in his book Developing Positive Assertiveness describes assertive behavior as, “active, direct, and honest. It communicates an impression of self-respect and respect for others. We view our wants, needs, and rights as equal to those of others. We work toward win-win outcomes. An assertive person wins by influence, listening, and negotiating so that others choose to cooperate willingly. This behavior leads to success without retaliation, and encourages open, honest relationships.

Assertive communication at home and in the workplace is the best form of communication.

It isn’t aggressive, and it isn’t passive aggressive.

It communicates our needs and seeks to find solutions that work toward positive outcomes.

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