My tip of the week this week is about assertiveness.
Some of this post must be accredited to someone who I read during my training and must get a mention. Pam Richardson's book "The Life Coach" was a great resource for me so I have used some of her thoughts to support my tip this week.
Assertiveness comes easy to some but to others it is a challenge. If you are in the latter category, this is your opportunity to make a little progress with;
5 simple ways to help you be more assertive.
Assertiveness is based on the belief that, whatever may have happened in the past that influenced your sense of self-worth, there comes a time when you can choose to believe that you are as important as anyone else.
You know I love a quote, so how about this one; -
“Be calm; yet assertive. Be meek; yet courageous. Be gentle; yet bold. Be kind; yet strong.”
― Charles F Glassman
The benefit of claiming your right to express your real feelings and opinions is that you live the life that you want to live, not the life that other people chose for you.
The cost of you denying yourself this right can be the release of a range of emotions from frustration or resentment, to anger that can all generate negative vibes.
You deal with the situations, but from more extreme positions of either passivity or aggression, these positions are both are manipulative.
The passive approach is self-effacing and apologetic: I am hopeless at this, you can do it so much better, this can be learned helplessness. Cultural influence can still produce a social expectation that women are meek and self-effacing while men are commanding and decisive. As a coach and a human being, I know this is not the case at all.
An aggressive approach may be “like it or not, just do it”. In an office environment where those who “make an impact” win promotion, a culture can develop where proving yourself right and others wrong is important. Making yourself look good at another person’s expense will score points. Remember this, if you admire someone because they dominate a meeting, while you find it difficult to put your point of view forward, you may both have more in common that you think – low self-esteem.
To help yourself become more assertive listen to the tone of your voice. Is it balanced and even, cajoling or domineering? Do you feel calm, confident, and open to the person that you are talking to? Another step towards becoming more assertive involves recognizing where tensions may lie in your body and how completely you use your breathe when you are communicating. If you are not using your breath well, your voice can sound flat and unconvincing. This is not helpful when you want to communicate effectively with others. Your voice and your posture are powerful allies when you want to develop good rapport with people and command their respect in any situation.
As a coach, I regularly come across both approaches and support my clients in moving toward improving their assertiveness.
So, my EDGE Coaching “tip of the week” for this week is “Try to be more assertive”
Here are 5 simple ways to help you be more assertive for you to practice this when the situation arrives.
Stand tall – ensure you have a strong posture.
Be fully present – be focused and ensure you feel centered.
Speak clearly with your mouth fully open – it reduces your chances of mumbling.
Fully control your breathing - it helps you stay relaxed.
Speak with fluidity - focus on getting your meaning across quickly and succintly.
With practice, even in front of the mirror, you will find it easier to stand your ground when it is the relevant time to do so.
Have a great week.
Richie Forde, Performance Coach and the Founder of Edge Coaching Services.