Quick Tips To Be More Assertive
OK, it's time to make the best of your life, spring has just about arrived, 2018 is one third complete, and your whole life is out in front of you. One thing you can do right away is simply change your behaviour in order to make the most of every situation and maximise your chances of success. As a mindset coach, I strongly believe we can all change our behaviour to change our results.
Here's some ideas for you if you feel you want to be more assertive and make things happen:
Stop apologising for everything - if you find yourself uttering those two small words, "I'm sorry", every time something slightly inconvenient happens that may or may have not been your fault, well it's time to stop. It's not your job to ensure that everyone's day runs smoothly. Believing so will not serve you well, people will tend to walk all over you. So bite your lip and don't sweat the small stuff. You'll find it's empowering to relieve yourself from the responsibility for everyone's well being. Let them deal with it, leaving you to deal with the important stuff that's within your control. So next time you get the last danish in the coffee shop, or finish the milk, just shrug and move on.
Stand tall - most of us realise that body language is really important in the art of communication; if you don't then you need to read more of my articles and blogs. Even if you are not of tall stature (like myself) it still speaks volumes when you stand up straight and 'tall' (imagine being pulled up by a cord attached to the crown of your head). Conversely appearing slouched and dropped shoulders will make people believe you lack confidence and of even untrustworthy. Not a good starting point for any conversation, and no way to be assertive and get your point across.
Be direct about your worth - when the opportunity comes, blow your own trumpet, it's unlikely someone else will do it for you. It's a fine art, because there is a place for humility in this world, however self-deprecation and being a shrinking violet at the wrong times can cause you to miss amazing opportunities. So keep your eye out for the time to stand up for yourself and let people know who you are and what you can do.
Don't hold back when you disagree - once again, timing is everything, but if you want to assert yourself in a conversation, in a professional or social setting, then every now and again you need to be the dissenting voice. Observers will value your input if it's well thought out and presented, it will get you noticed, but being known as a 'yes man' is unlikely to impress anyone worth impressing. If you want to be assertive, it's not enough to have something to say, you have to actually say it.
If assertiveness is not your strongest suit, and you want to develop it, tread carefully with these suggestions, and take them slowly. It's all too easy to overstep the mark and come across as insensitive, stiff, arrogant or argumentative, which is not your objective (I hope!).
What do you think? Do you have any useful tips? Do you disagree? Start the conversation here...