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Professional Assertiveness

Professional Assertiveness

When working on professional teams, assertiveness is an essential competency because it facilitates the creation of relationships within clearly defined boundaries, fosters open communication, and strengthens an individual’s ability to persist (Milovanovic et al., 2016). Professional teams can foster assertive communication using the strategies outlined below:

  • Ensure that everyone has a voice. Groups can have regular check-ins where everyone is encouraged to share their feedback. Team-building activities such as virtual scavenger hunts or sharing a thorn and a rose from the day can build organic connections and create an environment for open, assertive communication to thrive.
  • Strengthen support systems. Set up mentorship programs within instructional teams with clearly defined goals. By embedding opportunities for intentional support into the structure of instructional teams, team members have more opportunities to forge connections, problem-solve collaboratively, and practice communicating assertively.
  • Provide an assertive framework for feedback and criticism. Criticism can be a sticking point on instructional teams, so it’s important to have a clear means of offering and receiving feedback and criticism. Together, have teams brainstorm their group norms for constructive, assertive criticism. Remind everyone that criticism should be constructive and action-focused, and it is not a referendum on anyone’s skills or abilities.
Professional Assertiveness

Working with colleagues with diverse backgrounds, skills, worldviews, it’s inevitable that not everyone will agree, and that’s okay. What’s important is that educators can practice assertive communication to foster connection, spark creativity, and nurture meaningful interactions on their instructional teams.


Milovanović, R., Stojanović, R., & Ćirković-Miladinović, I.. (2016). Assertiveness of prospective teachers and preschool teachers. Journal Plus Education, 16(2), 289–303. https://www.uav.ro/jour/index.php/jpe/article/view/746/811


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