Ten Strategies To Help You Be Assertive

Ten Strategies To Help You Be Assertive


Many people find it​ extremely difficult to​ be assertive, whether it​ is​ in​ the​ work place, or​ in​ their personal lives. All too often, there is​ confusion between being assertive and​ being aggressive. it​ is​ my belief that you lose credibility and​ the​ moral high ground as​ soon as​ you show any signs of​ aggression.

There are some very simple principles to​ being assertive.


Expect to​ be listened to, you’ll be amazed at​ the​ difference there is​ when you are mentally prepared. Think about the​ lion tamer. if​ he shows fear the​ animal will know and​ attack.

Set clear expectations of​ yourselves and​ others; don’t expect other people to​ read what is​ in​ your mind. Articulate exactly what you expect from them and​ why.


Creating positive boundaries is​ important. We all feel at​ our most comfortable if​ we know how far we can go. Take control of​ the​ situation and​ set out your expectations.


How you use body language can make a​ huge difference to​ the​ way others treat us. it​ is​ part of​ the​ “expect to​ be listened to.” Hold your head up high, be a​ force to​ be reckoned with. if​ you look intimidated others will be intimidating. Be careful not to​ intimidate others.

If you are on home territory think about how you arrange the​ room and​ plan your engagement with others. Where you sit, whether you use a​ desk or​ sit on comfortable chairs at​ equal height all have a​ bearing on how the​ interaction with others will work. Be careful not to​ give mixed messages.

If you are about to​ haul someone over the​ coals keep the​ situation formal.


The tone of​ voice has a​ major impact on whether you will be heard, take a​ deep breath so that your voice is​ sustained. Think about the​ message you want to​ give. Be wary of​ the​ following: the​ shout, nag, whine, Uriah Heap (I’m ever so ‘umble”. You do not need to​ raise your voice, simply state what you want to​ say in​ a​ matter or​ fact voice without heat. Try it​ out in​ the​ privacy of​ your bedroom.

Be careful to​ use a​ voice which can be heard, is​ interesting in​ pitch and​ delivery. Breathe properly and​ protect your vocal cords.


If you are prepared you will speak with more authority, be better able to​ deal with the​ things that come up. Plan what you want to​ say, this is​ particularly important if​ you are to​ speaking to​ a​ group of​ people.


During any introduction it​ is​ important to​ connect with the​ group you work with. Be open, friendly, smile and​ feel in​ control. it​ will have a​ positive impact on the​ person or​ the​ group.


It can be extremely powerful. if​ you start with a​ positive statement it​ sets the​ tone. if​ you constantly ask people to​ do you a​ favour they will begin to​ believe they are doing you a​ favour rather than it​ be part of​ their job. “I would like you to​ ……” is​ a​ better style.


If people have done what was asked it​ is​ really important that you acknowledge their effort. They will be far more inclined to​ put themselves out again in​ the​ future.


But appropriately. Never at​ your clients or​ colleagues expense.


Be calm, be persistent and​ stay in​ control. Repeat what you want and​ why. Ask them to​ consider the​ implications of​ not doing as​ you request. Don’t threaten, bully or​ shout. Stick to​ your guns and​ if​ you outline a​ consequence it​ is​ important that you carry it​ out.

Those who find being assertive difficult often assume that everyone else finds it​ easy. the​ reality is​ that most people can feel anxious or​ wrong footed in​ some situations. I find it​ fascinating that when you talk to​ someone who appears supremely confident the​ reality is​ often very different. Acting confident is​ what makes the​ difference – you can do it​ too with a​ little bit of​ practice.

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