What is real assertiveness?
For me, assertiveness means having the self-confidence to speak up and put your case forward while at the same time taking account of the other person’s viewpoint. For this you need effective body language and a focused mind. So – true assertiveness is to do with both your behaviour and your mindset.
People who come across with real assertiveness have the confidence to use assertive communication to influence others
They don’t worry about what others will think of them but they do take this into account. They’re not rude but they know that standing up for yourself is the right thing to do when you have a point to make or when you think the other person is wrong. Truly assertive people have found that critical balance between stating their case using assertive communication and taking account of the views of the other person. They’ve acknowledged that their own needs, wants and rights are equally as important as the other person’s. They aren’t just able to present their own case using assertive communication – they also have the sensitivity and moral courage to listen to the other person’s case. They might even give in if they think the other person is right or has a better idea.
People who use their self-confidence effectively understand that both passive (listening) and active (speaking) behaviour are required for assertive communication …. However, they also know that extreme behaviour in one or the other direction can lead to you losing control of the situation. Being assertive also means being aware of any unusual physical habits in your body language, voice or expression when you communicate. The last thing you want to be doing is distracting the person while you’re trying to stand up for yourself. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to take in your message.
People with truly assertive communication skills have already worked out if they have any distracting habits. They’ve also worked out a strategy to overcome them. Effective eye contact makes a huge difference when you’re trying to be assertive. It can also blow your chances if you get it wrong.
So why not give it a go …. Be more assertive!
by Mike McClement