Becoming more assertive can empower you to create better relationships and prevent bad feeling. What’s more it improves your decision-making skills and helps you to deal with challenging situations, not to mention reducing stress in the workplace and in life in general.
Some people are naturally more assertive than others. If you tend to lead more towards being either passive or aggressive, you need to work on the following skills to develop your assertiveness in a positive way.
Value yourself and your rights
Understand that your rights, thoughts, feelings, needs and desires are just as important as everyone else’s
And remember they are not more important than anyone else’s
Recognise your rights and protect them
Believe you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity at all times
Stop apologising for everything
Identify your needs and ask for them to be satisfied
Don’t wait for someone to recognise what you need (you might wait forever!)
Understand that to perform to your full potential, your needs must be met
Find ways to get your needs met without sacrificing others’ in the process
Acknowledge that people are responsible for their own behaviour
Don’t make the mistake of accepting responsibility for the way people react to your assertive statements (e.g. anger, resentment). You can only control yourself.
As long as you are not violating someone else’s needs, then you have the right to say or do what you want
Express negative thoughts and feelings in a healthy and positive manner
Allow yourself to be angry, but always be respectful
Do say what’s on your mind, but do it in a way that protects the other person’s feelings
Control your emotions
Stand up for yourself when people challenge you and/or your rights
Receive criticism and compliments positively
Accept compliments graciously
Allow yourself to make mistakes and ask for help
Accept feedback positively – try not get defensive or angry
Learn to say “No” when you need to.
Know your limits and what will cause you to feel taken advantage of
Know that you can’t do everything or please everyone and learn to be OK with that
Go with what is right for you
Suggest an alternative where possible and try to reach a win-win solution.Back to Blog Items