Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to tell people what’s right? Do you feel that asserting yourself would be rude, selfish and eventually harm your relationships? Read for more…
Assertive – ‘Having or showing a confident and forceful personality.’ – Lexico’s Dictionary
In this blog post, I’ll share with you 12 tips on being self-assured when needed:
1. Decide to be strong-willed
First of all, take the initiative! If you truly want to take things into your own hands and make the most of situations, then go for it. You have to be convinced that you’ll be decisive.
2. Be guilt-free
Know the facts. If you’re knowledgeable about the matter and can see that refusing is the right choice, then do so. Feel faultless, otherwise, you’ll regret in the longer-term.
3. Be respectful
Be considerate, polite and gracious towards the other person. Being assertive isn’t about being rude. On the contrary, with good intentions, it brings the best results.
4. Listen carefully
Listen to the other person. Understand their point of view. This helps to make him/her feel valued.
5. Say ‘no’
After you have taken the time to know what your interlocutor thinks/feels and wants, give a firm yet polite ‘no’. This has to be said sooner or later, anyway.
6. Use ‘I’ not ‘you’
Don’t blame the other. Use ‘I’ statements. Say ‘I see that this is not the best idea because…’ not ‘you don’t know anything, so just shut up!’. Your communication should be effective, not cause further turmoil.
7. Problem-solving approach
With a truthful intent to rectifying things, a problem-solving approach is vital. You aim to say ‘no’ for a good cause, not because you have any selfish motives such as jealousy, envy or stubbornness. You, therefore, work towards finding solutions.
8. Suggest alternatives
While being firmly assertive in what you say, you could choose to go a step further by suggesting alternatives. This way, the other person will feel that he/she is participating in the decision-making process. You can thus maintain a healthy relationship while not giving in.
9. Proper eye contact
Make sincere eye contact when you speak. This helps to build trust. You’ll also show that you genuinely believe in what you’re saying.
10. Tone of voice
Mind your voice tone! Very often such conversations may lead to harsh words and end badly. Take a deep breath, be mindful and speak respectfully.
If possible, show how the other person will also benefit from the settlement. With a win-win situation, you’re more likely to find agreement. Finally, you could even gain support!
12. Keep practicing
Practice being assertive in different situations and regularly. Make it a natural habit for the better!
Tact v/s assertiveness
Sometimes your level of authority (at a given place) could be more geared towards being tactful than assertive. For example, if at work you’re part of junior-level staff, then you can’t give instructions to your manager. However, to sell your idea, you could instead give an informed suggestion.
Tact – ‘Skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.’ – Lexico’s Dictionary
Don’t hesitate to be assertive when you have the best intentions at heart. Be guilt-free, respectful, taking a problem-solving approach. Practice getting better ongoingly. Would you like to share your tips? Please do so. Thank you!!
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