WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE

Is life unfair? Incurable optimists will argue it is not. Whether you think it is or you think it is not, you are right. Why are people unfair to you or why do people treat you unfairly? This piece may not be able to tell you why but it will increase the odd of fairness to your advantage. Shall we get to work?

The skill of assertiveness is important. It is the confident and firm expression of self, thoughts, and opinions. Assertiveness means communicating without any sense of guilt, confusion, and hesitation.

No doubt, assertive people make great managers and great leaders. How? They are seen as trustworthy, they mean what they say and say what they mean. Result? They get more things done and faster too. They treat people with fairness and get treated with fairness. Assertive people are problem solvers. They solve more problems than they create. While non-assertive people mount their plates with more than what they can finish, assertive people know where to put a stop and that lessens the pressure and burden on everyone. In short, they know where to balance things up. Does that sound like you or your boss?

Understand yourself

Assertive people have a huge sense of self-knowledge and understanding. They know that everything and everyone has an elastic limit and breaking point. This implies that they have a strong sense of value, they understand their values and how to deploy them to work. If you don’t love yourself enough and don’t have healthy self-esteem, you will not be assertive. Self-love and self-esteem are important. Self-love and self-belief are the truest foundation for self-confidence. With these, you can understand that you deserve to be treated with love and dignity rather than being trampled upon at every slightest opportunity. You are also able to respect other people’s boundaries and that automatically protects yours.

Express yourself confidently 

Want to communicate what your wants and needs are? You need not do it with the lowest pitch of voice. You need to make it loud enough especially with your attitude and body language. “I need you to treat this file as soon as you can” is a different tone from “I am wondering if you can treat this file” with your head bowed. Your requests though must be in the most polite way should communicate the urgency and the need. 

Be firm

Be direct

Be clear

Be open 

Be composed – physically and emotionally.

Be open to compliments and criticisms

Some people still don’t know how to accept compliments. If you understand and accept yourself enough, you will know how to ride on the wings of compliments. Saying “thank you with a smile” or “am glad you find my work excellent” to a compliment is different from saying “I just managed to make it happen, I don’t think it is good” are two different things with far-reaching long term consequences especially on your personality. Personality, in turn, affects behavior. When you learn to accept compliments and criticisms, people will be comfortable with your compliments and criticisms.

Learn to say No

If you find it difficult to say no, you are not alone. Many employees and even managers find it hard to say no. but no matter how hard it may be, saying no when it matters is important. You must understand your capacity and your limits to be more effective. You must always remember that you will be depriving yourself of a lot of internal peace and joy when you try to please everyone at all times. Remember that if you say yes when you should say no, you have robbed yourself of the ability to say no at other important times.

Learn to ask for more time

Getting more time gives clarity, gives time for adequate preparation. Asking for more time helps you to find your balance when something catches you off guard. The story is told of Daniel in his encounter with the king. The king had a dream, he forgot the dream and wants someone to tell him the dream with the interpretation. Daniel in the biblical account simply asked for some time after which he was able to solve the historical puzzle.

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