improve your communication skills

Improve Your Communication Skills: How To Avoid Becoming Defensive or Passive Aggressive

You’re having a conversation or a meeting which doesn’t quite sit right with you. Suddenly you feel the urge to become defensive or passive aggressive. So, what triggers these responses? and how can you avoid these communication pitfalls and improve your communication skills?

If you’ve ever felt the need to become passive aggressive or defensive, there is usually a deeper need to protect, and defend yourself. This can be a result from your own insecurities or avoidance of conflict or judgment, scrutiny, and failure. However, these are usually instinctual survival reactions rather than considered responses, and they can have a detrimental impact on your career confidence, happiness, career performance, career progression and professional relationships. Alternatively, if you can master the art of great communication skills and conversation skills, then you could open up opportunities and propel your career forwards.

Here are 8 considerations when you feel the need to be defensive or passive aggressive.

1. Fears and Triggers

Understand what are your own fears, insecurities, or triggers?

2. Increase your own awareness

Become aware of when and why you’re being defensive or passive aggressive.

3. Adopt a growth mindset

Be open to both active listening, learning and open communication

4. It’s ok to disagree

Learn that it’s both ok to disagree as well as to agree.

5. Don’t take it personally

Remember, to distance yourself from getting emotionally involved. It’s business not personal.

6. What are the risks? 

Are there risks of becoming defensive or passive aggressive? Is it worth it?

7. Validation

Understand and validate the other person’s viewpoint first. Thereafter, discuss your viewpoint.

8. Accept responsibility

If you need to improve your career performance, communication skills or responses, then accept responsibility and accountability to move forwards.

Next Steps

If you experience difficult work dynamics, office politics and you would like to improve your communication skills, and start to feel empowered again then why not connect with me.