This term I worked with my tutor group on positive communication styles. We began by brainstorming the five elements of Hauora and telling them we would be focusing in on Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional well being) today. We then brainstormed words which the group thought described the terms ‘passive’ and ‘aggressive’. This led on to a talk about which of these is seen as more socially accceptable, which the boys decided was ‘passive’.
The boys then discussed which of the two communication styles they tended to favour, giving examples of how they communicated in this way. The common findings were:
Passive: Not putting their hand up, not getting involved in activities which ‘spotlight them’, not approaching new people, feeling shy, being afraid to be wrong.
Aggressive: Talking loudly, being the centre of attention, boasting about achievements, ignoring people.
This then led us to brainstorm what is meant by the term ‘assertive’ and ‘passive aggressive’ and the pitfalls of using the latter form of communication.
This was a really good session and the boys have since been using the term ‘assertive’ when discussing how they communicate and how others communicate with them. Where there is aggressive communication between them, for example, one of the class will always point this out.