Practice assertive communication for meetings. Be assertive, be positive, be tactful, speak up, and say what you mean.
If you are passive and do not say anything, people will not what you are able to contribute, and you will not be selling yourself. Finding and practicing the way to speak up at meetings is good for your company and your department or team. And it’s good for you.
Eight tips for assertive communication at meetings
1) Be positive by balancing something you say that is negative with something that is positive. If you speak about something that needs to be improved, also, suggest ways to improve it. Be optimistic.
2) Find the right level or degree of assertiveness in your communication style. Be confident. Be direct by stating what you conclude first without trying to explain it. Be prepared to provide reasons for what you say. Don’t be too humble.
3) Speak up. Let people know that you have something to contribute. We use the phrase “bring to the table”, as in “Karla brings a lot to the table”. This means that Karla has something to offer and contribute. What do you bring to the table?
4) If someone asks your opinion or view of something, be honest. Of course, you should be tactful in how you communicate something negative about another person’s idea or view. Your communication style should not be so indirect that it interferes with getting things done, achieving a goal, or getting a result.
5) If you say something negative about another person’s view or idea, this does not mean you are saying something negative about the person. However, once again, be sure that you are tactful in how you state your views or criticism, and be prepared to provide a reason or reasons for what you say.
6) If you don’t understand something, ask a question. It is no one’s fault that you do not understand. Sometimes people need more clarification or more information in order to understand something. Some people understand more quickly than others. Don’t let people believe that you understand when you do not. Your silence is an indication that you understand. You have to let people know you do not understand.
7) If someone says something during a discussion that you like a lot, that you find agreeable, or that appeals to you, let that person know. People like to know that others appreciate and like their views and ideas.
8) If someone asks whether or not you agree with something, be direct. If you disagree, use tactful language to do so. While it’s important to keep things positive and for everyone to feel good (group harmony), meetings have more to do with achieving goals and getting things done.