Strategies for becoming more assertive
Assertiveness is about expressing your own thoughts and wishes directly without inhibition your real emotions and with respect to other points of view. It comes from self-esteem and lies between passive and aggressive behavior.
Aggressive behavior vs assertiveness
People usually confuse aggressive behavior with assertiveness. However, there is a great difference. Assertiveness is based on respect for yourself and others. Being assertive means finding a balance between standing up for your ideas and considering the rights of other people. Aggressive behavior is selfish and rude regarding the rights and desires of others. An aggressive person acts in a bullying manner. You can operate in this style, when the boss regularly calls you during your free time, gives you a pile of work before a weekend and says it should be done today, setting up unreal deadlines and so on. In this situation, he/she disregards your feelings and creates a stressful situation at work. An assertive person always thinks about achieving the best results without bullying and humiliating others.
Passive behavior vs assertiveness
Assertiveness is the basement for all kinds of communications: starting from family, finishing with colleagues at workplace. Some organizations do not encourage assertive workers that can stand for their ideas. For them, it is better to work with passive workers that will support everything. Everyone has to choose which position and company he deserves. Self-confident people always leave passive people behind in different spheres of life. Just because they know, who they are, want they want and have strong confidence to achieve it. On the contrary, passive people allow others to walk over their desires, needs, and rights. Passive people avoid conflicts and always show that they are not as important as others. This desire to retain peace and be convivial to everyone decreases your self-confidence and puts you in a position where you are unable to express your views and needs.
Benefits of being assertive
Improved communications. Assertive people communicate more effectively because they know how to express their point of view directly without hesitation.
- Reduced stress. Hidden emotions and resentments cause stress and a feeling of helplessness.
- Acquired self-confidence and self-esteem. Assertive people take responsibility for their life, they have power and willingness to make their own decisions, build honest relationships and learn the respect of others.
How to train assertivness?
Some people were born assertive and others have to train hone this skill. Learn how to become more assertive and change your mindset, gaining more win-win situations and improving decision-making skills.
- Establish boundaries. This is the first thing that you should do. Passive people do not have any rules and limits that prevent them from becoming pushovers. Create such rules of permissible behavior around you and do not let people cross those borders.
- Say clearly and directly about your wishes. Unfortunately, people cannot read your mind. Every time, when you hope, that someone will guess your needs, you will feel aggrieved, it does not work this way.
- Avoid feeling guilty. Practice refusing if you do not agree, and do not feel guilty. You have a right to say “no”, and people will respect you for your strong-will.
- Practice assertiveness at home. Have you noticed how assertive people act? They speak clearly and stay calm. Body language also plays a great role. Try to practice some conversations, that unhinge you most of all, in front of the mirror.
- Don’t shift responsibility. Only you are in charge of all words and decisions you have made. As well as other people are in charge of their behavior and feelings. If your point of view is offensive for someone, it is not your fault.
Training assertiveness takes time. It does not appear at one day. Assertive training takes time, during which you will figure out such aspects, as:
Why does understanding the situation is so important? An assertive person does not interpret facts in an inaccurate way, they listen. Only clear understanding and summarizing of agreed points leads to the right decision and compromises. As assertive behavior is about good communication, we should be honest with our opponents and ourselves.
Learn how to indicate your feelings. Assertive training will help you to identify damaging emotions and depressing feelings. If you feel that way, you definitely allow people to cross your boundaries and you then betray your beliefs.
Train your skills in positive motivating and assertive delegating. As it was mentioned above, assertivness means establishing healthy communications, mutual respect from both sides – yourself and people around, achieving objectives in a more positive and win-win way. That means that assertive person has strong skills in dealing with different people and reducing conflict situations.
How to deal with manipulators and aggressive people. We always struggle with people that want to make their impact on us without listening. Assertive people do not allow others to influence their decisions in a negative way.
Get to know how to state your requirements to another person. You have a demand and a willingness to require something from other people, but you cannot even imagine how to start? That subject will be also covered during the assertiveness training.
Practice presentation skills. Learn how to express yourself better, overcome your fear and anxiety during presentation skills training. You can practice in situations where the risk is lower. We have only one chance to make the first impression.
Taking part in assertive training makes you able to analyze your own behavior, understand the motives of others, cope with resistance and build effective communications with others. Assertiveness is the core in effective relationships and communications. Those essential changes after attending a training course will change your life for the best. It is also never too late to learn an assertive behavior, as it can be trained and improved with the help of professionals at any age.
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