What comes to your mind when you think of assertiveness?
Being assertive is very different to being angry, rude or controlling which are all fear-based closed responses. Instead, being assertive exists on a finely balanced continuum between communicating your needs, boundaries, negotiables and non-negotiables, whilst also communicating your listening skills, empathy and understanding for others. It takes an open mindset and requires you to be open to developing valuable personal and professional development skills so that you can improve your health, happiness, relationships, career success and even productivity and wealth. Yet, for many people being assertive is difficult and can cause feelings of uncertainty, low confidence, guilt and anxiety when action is required.
So, here are 8 coaching questions and suggestions to help you to become more comfortable when being assertive.
1. What are your fears, triggers or beliefs about being assertive?
Once you know what your beliefs, fears and triggers are, you’ll be able to understand what is holding you back, your experiences and to question how true your fears or beliefs are now.
2. Establish and write down your own negotiables, non-negotiables and boundaries.
Being clear about what you need to communicate can be half the battle. Become more confident knowing what your boundaries are, where there’s room to negotiate or not to negotiate and where you’ve been compromising too much and how it has impacted you. Then keep a record of accountability by journaling it.
3. What changes and results do you want to experience?
How has not being assertive impacted you, your life, relationships and career? What change is needed and what results are you seeking?
4. Find a healthy balance between listening and speaking
Listening to others, being curious and communicating your understanding of their needs whilst also asserting your needs and speaking up can open a conversation for change. Whereas either talking constantly or never speaking up can lead to closed conversations and issues.
5. Establish your own and other people’s issues
Sometimes it’s easy to bear the responsibility for other people’s projections, opinions and insecurities and it’s important to be aware when this might be happening and to call it out. However, it’s important to also remain accountable for your own actions, issues, and feelings and to communicate this where and when it’s due.
6. Clearly and calmly communicate your points.
Stay calm and breathe! Take some space or moments beforehand to get into the right headspace. Remain clear about what you need to communicate and why it’s important. When under pressure it’s easy to lose your thread and to become reactionary.
7. Know that it’s ok to agree to disagree
For an effective conversation, you don’t always have to agree. In fact, it’s always best if there’s a healthy balance and room to grow and develop. Know and be comfortable that it’s ok to sometimes disagree.
8. Do you admire anyone who is assertive?
What qualities do you admire of your role models? Do they respond in a certain way? How do they communicate their needs? Take note even of their tone, their pace and the way they also listen and speak. Then use these points as a guide to practice.
If you are finding it difficult to set and communicate your needs and boundaries or you find it difficult to be assertive why not book a complimentary 15 minutes discovery call where we can talk about what changes you would like to experience and how coaching with myself could support you to find clarity, confidence, direction and success.