Assertive communication is the ability to speak your truth with clarity, poise, and meaning. This allows you infuse your relationships with authenticity and integrity, and it can keep you on track with your goals along the way. Take this quiz to find out how you rate as assertive communicator today. Clear communication is enhanced when you can confidently speak your truth and respectfully listen to others (whether you agree with them or not). Being an assertive communicator is the first part of this equation. This involves articulating your thoughts with clarity, as well as asking for what you want and being able to gracefully turn down opportunities that might stand in the way of an even greater good to follow.

Assertive communication has not always been in my repertoire. In fact, when I was first hired to teach yoga at an eco-retreat in Brazil over a decade ago, I arrived to find the actual conditions much different than portrayed to me over the phone or via photos online. Initially, I was disappointed and frustrated. Soon, those emotions turned to anger and blame.

I didn’t have the capacity to verbally stand up for my needs, or ask for a change in my living quarters. Nor did I have the faith in myself to change my mind and walk away. The stress compounded daily, and after a few months, I was an emotional wreck. Not a good place from which to be teaching yoga to others.

This was just one of many experiences that led me to question the components of clear communication and seek out the resources and mentors to show me a different way. The quiz provided below is designed to give you some immediate feedback on your current skills as an assertive communicator. Then, over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll dive into details tips on how to improve and implement those talents into your relationships.

Photo Credit: Ember and Earth Photography


The ability to speak in your authentic and unique voice is truly a skill to be practiced. Often you hear the phrases, “find your voice,” or “honor your voice” with regards to being a yoga teacher. However, a direct methodology to improve this skill set is not often taught in a teacher training program. And, since it’s not necessarily an inborn trait, we are going to address how to boost your speaking skills over the course of the next few weeks.

Now, the dictionary defines the word “assertive” in many ways, including confident, self-assured, and forward. But, “assertive” can be a term that also describes those who are pushy and aggressive.

For our purposes, we are using the term “assertive communication” to define the delicate balance between being too passive with others–where you feel unheard–and the other end of the spectrum, when you’re offensive or hostile in getting your point across. Instead, there are ways to speak your truth with clarity, poise, and meaning. Plus, being an assertive communicator will allow you to:


Before we dive into the concepts of becoming an assertive communicator, take the following quiz to see how you score at this moment. Read the statements below. Then mark the appropriate frequency each statement occurs for you on a regular basis.

(1) I recognize my rights and stand up for them in conversations.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(2) I accept challenges with an open mind.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(3) I learn from my mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth.

⭘ Rarely (R)  ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(4) I take responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, and actions.

⭘ Rarely (R)  ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(5) I am free to change my mind.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(6) It is easy to change my attitude and behavior.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(7) It is easy for me to admit that I don’t know something.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(8) I am able to say “I don’t agree” in a conversation.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(9) I am able to receive and offer respect.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(10) I use openness and honesty as a way to respect others.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(11) I accept when I am tired just as easily as when I’m energized.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(12) I am able to say “no” without feeling guilty.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(13) I deserve to be listened to and taken seriously.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(14) Others do listen to me and take me seriously.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(15) I am able to ask for what I want.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(16) I understand when others refuse my request.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(17) I have a high self-esteem.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(18) I carry myself with poise.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(19) I take responsibility for my feelings.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)

(20) I am able to receive constructive criticism without becoming defensive.

⭘ Rarely (R)   ⭘ Sometimes (S)  ⭘ Almost always (A)


To determine your score, notice how many times each answer was marked above and attribute the appropriate point value to each response.

  • Rarely (R) = 0 points
  • Sometimes (S) = 1 point
  • Almost always (A) = 2 point

Now add the points above and note your total score here: _________


Using your total score from above, identify where you currently rank on our assertive communication scale.

0-15: Change is knocking at your door

While you may spend many hours a day communicating with others, you’re often writing checks against your own energy account. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to enhance your body language, speaking skills, and transform your internal dialogue. Learn to boost your confidence and balance your energy account by utilizing the tools provided here.

16-29: Room for improvement

You’re doing well so far. For the most part, you communicate your ideas with clarity and hold yourself with confidence. Now, it’s time to shore up any weaknesses in sharing openly and honestly with others via the valuable communication techniques taught in this section.

30-40: Keep up the good work

Congratulations! Your skills as an assertive communicator help you successfully get your point across most of the time. By speaking kindly and clearly, you receive an energy boost when you interact with others. Continue on the path of effective communication and allow any of the suggested tools in this chapter to further enhance your skill set.


So, how’d you do on the quiz? Was your score what you anticipated? Did you have any new insights or ideas about yourself based on how you answered the questions?

If you were honest with yourself, and we hope you were, you now have a basic assessment of how often you honor your voice. It is essential to understand where you are right now so that you can make changes in the way you communicate. Making these shifts can allow you to create thriving relationships, both in your business and personal spheres of life. Plus, you will feel more confident in your interactions along the way.

Next week, we’ll cover numerous tips you can build your assertive communication skills. If you want something to work on until then, select any of the above statements in which you tallied a low score. Focus on that one simple task for the week, and notice how small changes can yield noticeable results.