How to communicate effectively, in a way that gets you heard

Respect is the key to being heard, and here’s how it works…

Felicity Dwyer
7 min readDec 6, 2020


Do you ever feel that your communication could have more impact? That your views and preferences aren’t taken as seriously as they could be?

Through many years of facilitating conversations and learning, I’ve come to believe that respect, for yourself and others, is the foundation of assertive communication.

Assertive communication is where you are able to express yourself clearly, so that you are heard.

“Someone who is assertive behaves confidently and is not frightened to say what they want or believe.” Cambridge Dictionary definition.

two people communicating
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

To be clear, assertive behaviour in this context is not the same as aggressive behaviour. Thinking that you’re always right is not assertiveness. Forcing your views on others is aggressive behaviour. Having the courage to say what you really think and feel is assertive.

Aggressive behaviour is also dominating a conversation. Talking too much. My heart sinks sometimes when I hear the same person talking yet again at a meeting, not showing interest in anyone else’s views.

I’m not going to pretend that I always get my communication right. In my role as a facilitator and trainer, I’m pretty assertive in ensuring that everyone has time to speak and be heard. But in other parts of my life I sometimes hold back. Writing this article has clarified a couple of areas where I plan to speak up a little more! Read on for five ideas to help you communicating more effectively, whether at work or in your personal life.

1. Be clear about what you think and feel, and know that your perspective is valid

Assertive communication starts with clarity about what you want to communicate. It’s about being clear about what you want and need. It’s also about communicating in a way that respects other people, and their perspectives, wants and needs.

Respecting others is important. And equally important is self-respect. If you don’t feel that your views are valid or that you have anything worth saying or sharing, this can lead to a passive…



Felicity Dwyer

Learning and Development specialist, Time to Think facilitator, Author “Crafting Connection: Transform how you communicate with yourself and others”.