Developing Assertiveness Skills
Everyone probably wishes they had better assertiveness skills, but dependent upon your personality type, you may have them but they may be weaker than most. Being assertive can get you far, and can help you lead the pack at work so long as you can manage those skills. Sometimes if you are over assertive you can damage your reputation by appearing demanding or pushy. So, what types of assertive skills should you really focus on developing?
Being assertive will help you stand up for yourself when someone has wronged you. I am not talking about when someone cancels on you for an event, or if they don’t return your sweater right away. A really good example of this is when you have worked very hard and you have done what is expected of you and more. When you always fill in the gaps at work, and you always go the extra mile to help out, but you see someone else being promoted ahead of you. Being assertive in this situation would mean that you went directly to your boss and addressed the issue. Don’t let something like this go on. If you have worked hard, and you have been promised a raise and you don’t get it, then you should definitely talk to your supervisor and find out what is going on. Chances are if you have been working in the same place for four years and you have never had a raise, then your assertiveness skills could use a little help.
Being assertive is not always just about you either, but it can also be about advocating that others have rights too. We all have a right to be happy, prosper and be in good health, and if we are not and we have the chance to improve our life then we should all do so. If you know that someone is working hard, and was promised something than this is a time where you can possibly chime in as well on the person’s behalf. Work is the biggest challenge when assertiveness skills can come in handy, so we will stick with that as an example. Let’s say you are a manager of a store, and you have an employee that you know will make great management material. You have just recently lost your assistant and they are fully qualified and have worked hard to attain that position. Then you should fight for them, and if they were promised something then make sure that they get it. If not, then be assertive enough to ask why. Stand up for yourself, but also make sure that you stand up for others as well.
How Can I Help Someone To Be Assertive?
When coaching someone to be more assertive, you can teach them through use of conversational examples. Remember, rehearsing real life situations is always best, because there is nothing worse than not being prepared. Teach people to speak up for themselves by using phrases such as: “I’d like to hear your views on…, or “I’m confused about your stand on…. These are all phrases that help people structure thoughts and sentences to use in assertive statements. This is so critical that people learn this early in life, so that they know that respect is given where it is earned.
Studies show that parents that use these phrases with their children as they get older, tend to raise more assertive children than others. These children often go on to get the promotions and advantages that others don’t because they won’t give up. They want to be heard, and being heard is so important. Being assertive isn’t being rude, it’s simply a way of standing up for yourself and letting others know that maybe you have something they would like to hear.