Assertive Communication in Healthcare

The art of communication is the language of leadership. – James Humes

Concepts

Communication is a word derived from Latin which means to bind, build, and share with the purpose of transmitting information. In order to communicate, it is necessary to have sender, receiver, channel, context, and finally the message.

Assertiveness is a type of communication where you have the capacity to express and assert your 

views while at the same time respecting the needs and limits of others. Assertive communication is a method of interaction with others 

based on some elements such as:

  • Active and non-reactive participant behaviour,
  • A responsible attitude, characterized by full confidence in oneself and in others,
  • Full and complete manifestation of oneself, functional in the affirmation of their rights without the negation of those of others and without anxieties and guilty feelings,
  • Non-censorial attitude, out of the use of labels, stereotypes and prejudices.
  • The ability to communicate their feelings in a direct, but not threatening or aggressive way (Leonardo Maretta, 2015).

Assertiveness is a type of communication where you have the capacity to express and assert your views while at the same time respecting the needs and limits of others.

Importance

The importance of assertive attitude has been recognized by scholars of human behavior around the 1940s to clarify the origin and treatment of some forms of anxiety and depression that seemed to be related to the social environment. Growing parallelly with the development of behavioral sciences, today assertiveness is considered one of the core disciplines of training in business, health care, school and public institutions.

On a daily basis especially with respect to the health care system, we find ourselves in situations where we want to say things but for fear of hurting the other person we prefer to remain silent. Often we are faced with thoughts like “It is better I don’t talk otherwise he would hold it against me and so in the bid to please others or not to hurt their feelings I am obliged to maintain my silence”. The assertive person tries to prevent conflicts, not to avoid them at all costs.  

In fact, assertiveness is that relational competence that allows people to recognize their own feelings and emotions and to express them with absolute honesty to others in mutual respect. It is a key competence to develop the skills needed to manage a positive relationship with each other.

The assertive person tries to prevent conflicts, not to avoid them at all costs.  

In Healthcare

This way of behaving, exposes the assertive who takes position or expresses an opinion of possible consequences (Domenico Laura, 2011). With the awareness that we cannot always please everyone or find everyone in agreement, the assertive accepts the risk and responsibility as inevitable elements of their actions, albeit cautious and respectful. The healthcare worker is in this situation by relaying with the assisted, family and co-workers. He is questioning his position and listening to others without pretending to be always right, at the same time honestly expresses his feelings and opinions. It is made available to improve understanding by paying attention to the limits of communication itself.

According to Dr. Paolo Ricci, he can say “no”with firmness and frankness. Often his “no” is followed by an explanation of the motive or a “thank you”. However, he knows techniques to defend himself from aggressive and manipulative communicators. He can make and receive compliments as he can accept constructive criticism by using them to improve his behavior. “

Assertive communication teaches us that speaking to someone without hurting his feelings is a positive communication that tends to reduce conflicts and work stress. Being assertive is not a simple practice, it could be likened to learning new things like children and so it requires so much effort. The fact that one wants to maintain self-respect and at the same time express his feelings could create serious problems and even disrupt existing relationships.

Assuming an assertive attitude therefore entails initial costs, but in the future, it will bring benefits because we will be more in tune with what we are, we will not be concerned about wearing protective masks or putting claws to show our value. – Milena Pedrotti, 2008.

Conclusion

Assertive communication requires listening, confrontation, exchange, and feedback that are key elements that ensure effective communication needed for personal care, family management, and teamwork.

ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION IN HEALTHCARE PRACTICE was written by Udoamaka Elenwoke. A professional Italian nurse and you can follow her on Social media

Hidden Content


  • >