Monday

One of the great skills of an assertive person is the ability to say "no". Be brief and to the point. Be honest. If you know an unwelcome request is coming your way practice saying "no" in advance. What are you going to say and do? If necessary, use the 'Broken Record Technique' where you just keep repeating your statement softly, calmly and persistently.

Don't confuse rejecting a request with rejecting the person making the request. Most people are happy to accept an honest "no" if it is expressed appropriately. The first time will be the hardest!

Practice the body movements of an assertive person. When standing, be upright and relaxed with open hand gestures. Relax your facial features and make firm and direct eye contact with whomever you are communicating. This does not mean that you spend the day grinning! Your facial expression needs to be appropriate to how you are feeling, so that you don't give out any mixed messages. If you are pleased, smile, but if you aren't so happy with the way things are, feel free to frown.

Show a willingness to explore other solutions than your own if necessary. Encourage creativity from all. "How can we solve this problem?" will encourage others to tap into their resourcefulness. Sometimes it just takes a bit of encouragement.

Weigh the costs. Telling other people how you feel also makes it easier for them to communicate their feelings to you. Assertiveness is about acknowledging that all opinions are important – "I matter and so do you".

By being passive or aggressive you will lose out. Being assertive costs nothing but brings many benefits. You will be able to communicate better, command respect and be listened to within respectful, negotiating relationships. Win-Win? Definitely!

About The Author

Kate Harper is based in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Check out her website http://www.harpercoaching.com .




Good Advice


Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.

Thomas Szasz

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.
Sam Walton

No one else can take risks for us, or face our losses on our behalf, or give us self-esteem. No one can spare us from life's slings and arrows, and when death comes, we meet it alone.
Martha Beck

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