Assertiveness is a behaviour that can be learned and developed. It's a communication process that is a key quality for productive relationships. It can help you move you away from feeling passive to feeling more active and listened to on more occasions. It usually involves stepping outside of your comfort zone if you are not naturally assertive but in doing so, working on being more assertive can certainly help improve your confidence and self esteem.
Assertiveness is a behaviour that can be learned and developed. It's a communication process that is a key quality for productive relationships. It can help you move you away from feeling passive to feeling more active and listened to on more occasions.
It usually involves stepping outside of your comfort zone if you are not naturally forthright but in doing so, working on being more assertive can certainly help improve your confidence and self esteem.
Assertiveness is not about dominating, resisting or forcing your point of view on others. This is still a form of effective communication after all!
If you would like to harness the power of assertiveness and be able to speak up, engage and problem solve more often then here are our top tips:
Sweeping generalisations is simply a form of communication that is factually incorrect. Think before you speak and use honest and accurate information. When you are communicating your opinion or complaint ensure you are being clear concise and direct. For example, if you are making a complaint to your telephone provider you wouldn't just say "your network is always down" you would instead say "your network went down 4 times in one month for 30 minutes or more each time".
If you feel uncomfortable saying no then ask for more time. For example "i'll have to see about that", "let me see if i can realistically build it into my schedule" or a simple "let me think about that and i'll come back to you". It is not a crime to ask for more time, in fact it lets people know you are taking their request seriously.
Unassertive words do nothing for you and your self esteem. An easy way to practice being more assertive is to start by elimintaing the following words -
Make requests and overcome any fears you may have around people turning you down. In the majority of instances, people like to help others so there really is no harm in asking. If you don't ask, you don't get so if you really want to open up further opportunities then you will need to step outside of your comfort zone. If you push yourself to the situations where you feel less confident then you will be on your way to practising becoming a new, assertive version of yourself.
Don't shy away from the point you would like to make or the action you want to take. Be committed and take full responsibility, it is very easy to say things flippantly without realising the damage a simple phrases can make. For example, "you make me so angry" is a generalisation and you are placing a blame onto someone else. To take responsibility this would become, "when you come home late, i feel angry". Saying "i think" instead of "we think" is also an easy way to own your communication.
All successful people have role models so it's a great idea to observe an assertive person you admire. This could be someone in your family, a friend, a colleague or even somebody you don't know but really respect. As well as traying to mirror their behaviours, also try to think and feel like them to really take on their persona. Take words from their language, adopt their tone of voice and observe their body language. Keep a list of their attributes and add them to your portfolio.
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