Open Communication - Speaking Up - Assertiveness - Employee Voice
For more productivity, engagement, and effective leadership.
64% employees rarely speak up
According to a MIT study, 17% of employees said they do not speak up at all and 47% said they speak up only sometimes (on a third or less of speaking up topics-usually related to their own needs).
Performance decline for 66%
According to Mckinsey article, amongst employees who felt disrespected once a month or more: 66% said their performance declined; 47% decreased the time spent at work; 38% intentionally decreased the quality of their work; 78% reduced commitment to the organization.
3.5 wks on unproductive conflict
CPP Inc. found that U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours each week or 3.5 weeks a year dealing with conflict.
Many talented employees are disengaged, feel under-appreciated and disrespected which drastically reduces their productivity. When employees speak up more, they become more engaged and productive. Companies have higher performance. It also increases retention, DEI, innovation, and quality.
Top Reasons Employees Don't Speak Up
"Scared of Backlash"
Fear of losing their jobs, hurting their career, or having other negative consequences.
"Nothing Will Change"
Distrust in leaders, believe leaders won't take action or change anything.
"Not Be Aggressive"
Fear of being perceived as aggressive, abrasive, rude, pushy, difficult, or insubordinate especially for women and minorities.
The skill of empathetic assertive communication de-risks speaking up. Assertive communication is the skill of speaking up effectively and respectfully for effective problem-solving. It is the skill of communicating with impact. It unleashes the best qualities of your human assets.
Upskilling your people with empathetic assertive communication skills will help create a more inclusive respectful speaking up company culture of open communication. Give your team or organization Speaking Up & Assertive Communication skills..
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Here's What Happens When Employees Learn To Speak Up Assertively
Click below to find out what happens when employees learn to speak up assertively.
Speaking up assertive communication skills increase employee retention.
The pace of employee turnover is forecast to be 50–75% higher than companies have experienced previously according to Gartner. Plus, turnover can cost up to 200% of an employee’s annual salary, depending on the role, amounting to nearly $700 in 2020 according to HBR article. Not only is it important to reduce turnover, but to retain those who stay.
Speaking and assertive communication skills improve retention because they:
- Help employees feel heard, understood, and appreciated.
- Give employees the skills to advocate for their own needs.
- Give employees the skills to make others treat them with respect.
- Give employees the skills to propel their own career and opportunities forward.
Speaking up assertive communication skills help teams be more productive.
Employees in United States companies spend approximately 2.8 hours each week involved in conflict. This amounts to around $359 billion in hours paid that are filled with – and focused on – conflict instead of on positive productivity (CPP study).
Assertive communication helps employees:
- Prevent and minimize conflict
- Help handle small issues before they escalate into big conflict
- Resolve conflict promptly
- Express mistakes in a timely and productive way
- Express opinions, ideas, perspectives and engage in meetings.
- Get point across.
- Respectfully disagree.
- Express concerns to authority.
- Ask for clarification and ask smart questions.
- Speak up for the team and customers.
- Speak up for what is right.
- Ask for and receive feedback in a way that gets you relevant and useful information.
Speaking up assertive communication skills increase employee engagement.
51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged (Gallup, 2017). According to Gallup, the key drivers for employee engagement are development, ongoing conversations, a caring manager, focus on strengths, and purpose.
Assertive communication helps employees be proactive around what they need to to happy and engaged at work:
- Express what they need to be happy, engaged, and successful (e.g. ask for a development plan)
- Proactively seek ongoing conversations with their managers.
- Ask for the kind of work that focuses on their strengths and gives them a sense of purpose.
- Influence others to appreciate, value, and recognize them.
- Create positive relationships at work for themselves.
- Express their ideas more often and in a way that is heard, understood, and taken seriously.
- Train others to treat them with respect.
Speaking up assertive communication skills support innovation.
Companies that have employees who feel more comfortable asking for help, sharing suggestions, or challenging the status quo innovate more according to Mckinsey.
Assertive communication teaches employees how to communicate in innovation-inducing way:
- Challenge authority and the status quo
- Share suggestions in a way that gets across
- Ask for clarification
- Ask questions
- Ask for help
- Disagree without being disagreeable
- Communicate mistakes and concerns early on
Speaking up assertive communication skills help leaders be more effective.
Leaders often avoid or delay necessary hard conversations and other leaders do so in an ineffective way.
With assertive communication skills, leaders can have the appropriate skills to have hard conversations in a timely, positive, yet impactful way, such as:
- Give constructive feedback (both negative and positive), in a way that engages rather than deflates people.
- Communicate negative messages in a humane and positive way.
- Prevent conflict from happening or from escalating.
- Resolve conflict without being confrontational or emotional.
- Confront without being confrontational.
- Be decisive as a leader when it matters without coming across as uncaring.
- Hold people accountable without blaming, shaming, or micromanaging.
- Better communicate expectations positively and at the right time.
- Express feelings and ideas in non-threatening way.
- Be an effective advocate for others.
- Balance the use of power and warmth based on the situation and people.
- Express impatience and anger in the right way
Speaking up assertive communication skills increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Assertiveness improves diversity:
- MORE INTERNAL PROMOTIONS by helping minorities position themselves and other minorities for internal promotions by self-promoting, communicating with warmth and authority, and making the ask.
- MORE SUCCESS IN LEADERSHIP ROLES by providing essential soft skills for minorities rising through leadership to succeed (give feedback, share perspectives, disagree, handle conflict, request resources, hard conversations).
- INCREASED RETENTION of minorities because they feel more in control (and less like victims) with speaking up assertively skills.
Assertiveness improves equity:
- MORE ACCESS by empowering minorities to ask for access to resources, opportunities, and key decision-makers in a way that minimizes backlash or retaliation.
- MORE FAIRNESS by providing minorities the skills to become their best advocate, stand up for themselves when they experience unfair treatment, and pursue their interests.
- LESS BIASED JUGEMENT by enabling minorities with assertive questioning skills to reduce assumptions and judgement in interactions.
Assertiveness improves inclusion:
- MORE FEELING VALUED by providing minorities with actionable skills to make themselves heard and understoodin meetings, to help superiors appreciate and recognize them, and to get coworkers to take them seriously.
- MORE AUTHENTICITY by giving them the ability to express their differences and individuality in a positive way.
- MORE VOICE by boosting their confidence to speak up at work.
SPEAK UP ASSERTIVELY: How To Be Assertive Without Being Aggressive
Speaking up can feel risky in the workplace even though it is necessary to contribute, be productive, and lead effectively. The problem is that most people don’t want to be seen as difficult, upset others, or invite backlash.
In this talk, Ivna Curi reveals how to speak assertively at work without being rude, aggressive, or abrasive. With these assertiveness skills it is possible to make difficult conversations easy, constructive, and even rewarding. Discover how to communicate with confidence and get your point across while building meaningful positive relationships. And best of all, learn to communicate in an anxious-free and connection-rich way.
BREAK THE SILENCE: Encourage Open Communication And Psychological Safety
Communicating difficult feedback, raising concerns, and holding others accountable is challenging. 65% of employees never or rarely speak up according to MIT-Microsoft research. Many employees fear retaliation or believe no action will be taken if they speak. However, a speaking up culture is necessary to increase performance, productivity, and engagement. It is key to enable trust and collaboration. Discover how to encourage open communication and create psychological safety in your team and with stakeholders.
SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD: How Women Can Speak Confidently, Powerfully, and Effectively
Do you struggle with speaking up and being heard in the workplace? As a woman, you may face unique challenges such as gender bias, inequality, and double standards that can make it difficult to assert yourself without being labeled as aggressive or abrasive. But what if you could break through those barriers and communicate with confidence, authority, and warmth?
In this inspiring talk / workshop, Ivna Curi shows you how to master the art of assertive communication and overcome the obstacles that may be holding you back. Through a proven framework, you’ll learn how to eliminate unhelpful behaviors, structure your communication for maximum impact, and declutter your language of ineffective friendliness.
You’ll discover how to add warmth and approachability without sacrificing your authority or power. You’ll gain practical steps to speak up without fear of backlash or retaliation and learn how to navigate labels such as “too aggressive,” “difficult,” and “abrasive” with grace and confidence.
About Assertive Way
Assertive Way is the only company exclusively dedicated to teaching speaking up and assertive communication skills for the workplace to create a robust speaking up culture that drives engagement, productivity, and innovation.
About The Speaker / Trainer / Consultant
- Host of the Speak Your Mind Unapologetically Podcast Show.
- MBA from INSEAD, the leading MBA program outside of the U.S.
- Forbes contributor.
- TEDx speaker “How To Speak Up Safely When It’s Psychologically Unsafe“
- Decade of corporate experience for Fortune 500 Johnson & Johnson, A.T. Kearney, and Etihad Airways leading teams.
- 20 thousand students in personal, group sessions, or trainings.
- Lived and worked around the world in 4 of the 7 continents.
- Speaker at conferences, events, and podcasts.
Submit Your Request
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