Assertiveness is an incredible skill that needs to be learnt and practiced in personal as well as professional context Assertive communication! A...
Assertiveness is an incredible skill that needs to be learnt and practiced in personal as well as professional context
Assertive communication! A concept off late very much discussed in most corporate. On being asked what assertiveness means a lot of employees relate it to being firm and straight forward and standing up for oneself and being polite to others. Many often, even confuse it with being diplomatic and getting away with ideal answers. Assertiveness may definitely be projected as one of these; however it is in effect a combination of several other factors. Assertiveness is about behavioural rights of people. How one can stand up to one's own rights whilst also respecting and not infringing the other person's rights. It is about expressing ones feelings and opinions in a manner that does not disrespect the other person. Assertiveness is an incredible skill that needs to be learnt and practiced in personal as well as professional context. How does one then practice assertiveness? It can be through any number of ways, one of the strongest being that whenever one is affected by any external stimulus, before one says or does anything, one has to pause and consider the implications of saying or doing the same. One needs to learn to respond than react. 1. R � Rapport: In any tough situation, it is easier and simpler to speak one's mind and maintain the respect for the other individual when one has a good rapport with the other person. No wonder then, across the organization, it is vital that for one to be assertive, the most commonest set of techniques one finds is on how to connect with the other individual, on how to build that rapport that is the beginning of a trusting long lasting relationship. Building rapport with an individual is means to be in harmony and synch with that person. Once this rapport is established, it is here to stay and one can easily be more assertive than one has been before. People can also take tough messages objectively from people they have a good rapport with and like. 2. E � Escape the 3 traps: when Robert Kapman speaks spoke of 'the drama triangle', he mentions 3 roles that people tend to play in life, the roles that he professes turn life into a game that is played and people are not assertive when in these roles. They are the role of a victim, persecutor, and a rescuer. A victim as we know is one who takes the hurt and feels punished and more or less stays passive and non-assertive. A persecutor as we understand is one who inflicts pain on the victim more or less in an aggressive and non-assertive manner. A rescuer however, usually considered a positive role, is also a non-assertive role. It is good to be around and let people know and willing to help them when asked, the 'when asked' being the key words here. A rescuer decides self when someone needs to be rescued than being there as the person needs! Avoiding these 3 roles consciously is one way of being assertive. 3. S � Silence: In today's corporate scenario, it is neither just technical competency nor just the hardworking ability that take priority whilst employing individuals. Another core aspect of is the ability to listen. That we have to maintain silence in order to be able to listen is an age old formula that we have always so rightly been taught and will continue to teach for generations to come. In today's fast moving world, maintaining personal relationships has sometimes become a challenge, especially when both partners are busy with their respective jobs and have lesser and lesser time to give each other and their family. In both the above cases, stopping oneself from just expressing and taking the time out to be silent and listen to the other person can be an effective way of being assertive. 4. PO � Positive attitude: For an individual to be assertive, they need to be able to have an attitude of positivity i.e. stay positive towards self as well as others constantly. This can be done on a consistent basis by using positive attitude tools such as positive affirmations. Simply put, these are just statements filled with positivity that one can constantly repeat to oneself so that one can face any situation with confidence and positivity. Research touts that what the human mind believes, it can make come true. This is a technique that an individual can use to bring about a confident approach and a positive experience in one's life which helps one to be able to stand up for self without putting down others. 5. N � No: Yes, it is true. In today's corporate scenario, a straight forward application of being assertive can be defined with one's ability to say no. With increasing competition day by day and a pressure for enhanced performance levels at work, people most often than not have a difficulty in just saying no, especially to superiors and bosses. Similarly, in today's world of fragile friendships, individuals hesitate in saying no afraid that it would strip them off the positivity in the friendship/relationship. Thus people, usually, do not like to say no to others. Research however has shown that when one continuously keeps saying yes though one wants to say a no, one is then being non-assertive and soon slowly, there comes a point in time when one cannot do this any longer and they start to resent the other individual, thus becoming aggressive and causing a strain in the relationship, personal or professional. Hence, it is vital, in today's scenario, to learn to say no effectively and empathetically i.e. assertively. 6. D � Decide: Assertiveness is about trusting your intuition and leveraging on to quickly analyze the pros and cons and make decisions. An assertive person is clear on what is important for them as well as for others and makes decisions keeping this in mind. By choosing to implement the above one chooses to consciously be assertive while conversing with others thus leading to straight forward conversations and quicker decision making and positive collaboration. So, respond to be assertive... You have the power! Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer & Inspirational Speaker. http://www. revathionline.com