The Art of Assertiveness
"To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough." - Dr. Edith Eger, our new role model.
As Dr. Eger eloquently puts it, it's okay to tell people what you want and need. Assertiveness is the metaphorical 'just right' porridge when it comes to workplace communication - not too hot (aggressive), not too cold (passive), but just right.
So how do you do it? Here are five tips you can put into action straight away:
1. Embrace Active Listening: Before you speak, listen. Show genuine interest in others' perspectives and ask clarifying questions. This fosters mutual respect and open dialogue.
2. Use "I" Statements: When expressing your views, start with "I" rather than "you". For example, "I feel overwhelmed by the workload" rather than "You're giving me too much work". This reduces defensiveness and fosters understanding.
3. Set Clear Boundaries: Defining your personal and professional limits is crucial. Stand your ground calmly but firmly, and don't be afraid to say "no" when necessary. It's key to managing your priorities and avoiding burnout.
4. Adopt Positive Body Language: Maintain eye contact, stand tall, and use confident gestures. Your body language can convey assertiveness just as effectively as your words.
5. Practice Through Role-Playing: Simulating real-life scenarios with a friend or mentor can help you build confidence. It's a safe way to prepare for different reactions and practice your assertiveness skills.
Remember, assertiveness isn't about winning an argument; it's about creating a dialogue where everyone feels heard and valued. But, like any skill, it takes practice.
At Skilltec Training, we offer a one-day Assertiveness course that dives deeper into these strategies. It's a great way to build your assertiveness muscles and learn to communicate with more confidence and impact. Check out the course and see available dates at Assertiveness - Learn More!