How to increase your assertiveness in 5 methods
Assertiveness is an important personal quality to have in all parts of life, but it is especially important if you want to succeed as a company owner.
Is it possible to say no without feeling guilty? Can you express yourself freely and create personal limits with others? This is the key to being aggressive in any scenario and sticking up for yourself and your viewpoint without feeling self-conscious. The more clear you are in your head about what you want and where your limits are, the easier it is to express this to others.
Being forceful, however, does not imply stepping on other people’s toes. That’s called ruthlessness, and it’s not a good quality to have for long-term success. Being assertive, on the other hand, is all about striking a balance and behaving with respect for both your own and others’ interests. Assertive people are confident and sure-footed. They understand how to defend their personal space and how to assert themselves without being violent or overbearing. So, how can you improve your assertiveness?
First and foremost, become used to asking people for help. Did you grow up hearing your parents say, “I want, but I don’t get?” It’s one of the most hurtful things a parent can say to a child. Reframe your thoughts to: ‘Ask in the proper way, and I’ll obtain what I want,’ and keep reminding yourself of this. It’s a proven fact. You will have a better chance of achieving what you want if you are proactive and convey your desires to others. In theory, it seems simple, but for some individuals, speaking out for themselves and what they want is really tough.
There are three major barriers to assertiveness, according to Alberti and Emmons, the authors of “Your Perfect Right.” To begin with, individuals wrongly feel they have no right to act in this manner – here is where parental training comes into play. Second, they are scared of the possible repercussions, and third, they lack the communication skills to effectively communicate themselves.
Assertiveness is a talent that can be acquired, and here are some helpful hints:
1. Begin Small
Self-confidence and self-esteem are inextricably related to assertiveness. If this is a problem, take it one step at a time and make minor adjustments to your routine. If you’re attending a conference or business event, for example, sit towards the front of the room and engage in conversation with someone you don’t know as a networking opportunity. It will enhance your self-esteem.
Consider the words you often use in business discussions. Instead of responding, “It’s out of my hands,” offer, “I’ll look into alternatives.” Use statements like “I’d prefer” to express your thoughts more clearly and start bringing your own goals to the table. Gradually increase your aggressiveness until you’ve reached the appropriate level.
2. Say “No”
Do you ever say “yes” when you really mean “no”? Many individuals find it difficult to say no, so they remain silent and hope the problem will go away. Or they make excuses rather than being honest, such as, “I have this work I absolutely need to do.”
Part of being assertive is being comfortable with expressing “no” when it’s what you’re thinking on the inside and having faith in your own judgment. Most individuals avoid asserting themselves in the hopes of reducing conflict, yet this is only a transitory situation. Remind yourself that saying “no” now is the best option since you are only delaying the inevitable. So, to prevent all that, you may as well be straightforward right away.
3. Have faith in yourself and let go of your guilt
You may feel terrible after sticking up for yourself and saying no. Or perhaps you’re experiencing self-doubt. You’ve irritated or challenged a coworker, which makes you feel uneasy. Were you correct in your decision?
Attempt to let go of your guilt. Why didn’t you communicate your point of view or intention? They might have also asserted themselves, leaving you to work out a mutually acceptable compromise solution. “Self-trust is the first secret of success,” Emerson famously remarked.
4. Take it easy!
Fear is sometimes associated with assertive behavior. It’s unpleasant to consider addressing someone, but that’s a short-term perspective as well. Your heart starts beating when you’re going to have a difficult conversion. Relax, use breathing methods to calm yourself, and collect your thoughts. Remind yourself of your goals and that you have the freedom to achieve them, and your worry will dissipate.
5. Safeguard and prepare
Isn’t it often the case that you wind up in a position you don’t want because you weren’t clear on your objectives? Rather of relying on others to accomplish your goals, be proactive and take charge of your own destiny. Having a clear concept of what you want is essential to being forceful. Prepare by defining your goals and practicing your replies so that you are well-prepared to fight for what you desire.
Being aggressive has the apparent advantage of achieving what you desire. As aggressive individuals tend to be happy, as Robert Bolton argues in his book People Skills. They are, of course, because they are receiving what they desire!
They have a strong sense of personal responsibility, greater self-esteem, and more stable relationships, which means they are less stressed and anxious, and hence happier. Most significantly for entrepreneurs, being assertive means that others know where they stand with you – which is an essential component of being an effective company leader!
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