Assertiveness is a skill regularly referred to, in social and communication skills training.
It is an excellent skill both for managing your relationship with others and managing your relationship with yourself.
This is not an overnight skill.
Let’s attempt to define assertive /assertiveness.
Being assertive means being able to stand up for your own or other people’s right in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive or passively accepting wrong.
Being assertive is a skill every business person MUST have in the 21st century, if not, it will affect your relationships with people negatively, you lose good deals on negotiation table and you will not be happy generally because your self-esteem and confidence are not on point.
When it comes to being assertive, there are 3 major types of behavior:
In short, Assertiveness is the balance point btw passive and aggressive behavior.
Assertiveness means encouraging others to be open and honest about their views, wishes and feelings, so that both parties act appropriately.
The question at this juncture is, what is the difference between being aggressive and being assertive?
A lot of people lose business deals, lose customers, because of aggression and aggressive behavior all in the name of being assertive.
I still want to break down the behavioral style further;
- Passive aggressive
I’m sure as you’ve been following this post, someone would have crossed your mind and you are fixing them in a category.
Remember to judge yourself as well… LOL!
By the way, let’s quickly discuss together more characteristics of;
- Aggressive, and
- assertive people
Here is another perspective,
Being assertive means being positive and confident. You are aware that you are a worthy person with your own special gifts. You think for yourself and express your own ideas. You know what you stand for and what you won’t stand for.
One word that we can all learn to say, in order to practice being assertive, is the word NO!
This word is one of the most liberating words in the entire universe and I’m aware a lot of people find it hard to say.
Let me show you some ways to say NO without saying NO;
- I’m sorry I’m busy.
- Thanks for thinking of me, I really wish I could.
- I’d love to, but I’m already over committed.
- Unfortunately, that’s not something I can do at this time.
- No thanks.
- I’m already booked.
- Maybe next time.
- I wish I could, but I just can’t.
- I don’t think I’m the right person to help with that.
- Sorry, I can’t help you this time.
- Sounds fun, but I’m not available.
- That’s not going to work for me.
If you check well, you will see that the above phrases are contextual.
Free yourself, learn to say NO. Be assertive.
What you can’t tolerate, don’t permit it!!!
Let’s quickly examine some Assertiveness techniques:
- Questioning: maintaining active curiosity about what the other person means (no assumption).
- Identify your wants and needs and be prepared to ask for them.
- Learn to say NO without guilt.
- Let go of guilt in general.
- Take your time; no pressure to react immediately.
These points are self-explanatory.
In conclusion, the art of assertiveness cannot be overemphasized in business place and in our everyday living. People make gains because of it, people lose deals and make losses because of it, people gain confidence because of it and lack of it is the reason for low self-esteem in a lot of people. Assertiveness is not a destination, it is a journey.
Have you seen people that seems happy, get things done, and seems to have their way and people like them? Look closely, being assertive is at work.
KSS; by Dr Shogo.