About The Podcast.
Assertiveness: Learn to assert yourself in any situation (professional and personal). The need for assertiveness is that it exists on all levels. The individual that “doesn’t want to make a fuss". The otherwise confident middle-manager with an aggressive boss. A demonstrably effective CEO with an overbearing board and/or chairman. At some point in our personal/professional lives we will all have to assert ourselves.
NOTE: Some words of warning. Everything presented here assumes that the person you are being assertive with is decent, empathetic and reasonable. Unfortunately this is not always the case. There are those who choose aggression and violence over discussion. With this in mind your personal safety is the major consideration. If at any point you feel unsafe withdraw from the situation and consider calling for help.
- Keep calm: A 'hot-head' brings nothing to the table.
- Be truthful not hateful. Speak your truths consistently and without being combative or aggressive: The truth has a way of surviving.
- Listen to the truths of others without being combative: Everyone (within legal & moral guidelines) has a right to express their truth.
- Avoid belligerent people: Some people live to argue, don't bother, withdraw or involve a 3rd party.
- Don't allow your mind to create problems and give birth to monsters: Deal only with what exists, do not argue things that exist only in your mind. My take on an old joke: When a mother feels cold a child puts a jumper on.
- Be happy: Everything will pass and you need to ensure that you come out the 'other-end' happy.
I would suggest that you use this page in conjunction with the Conflict Resolution page. There is a certain synergy between resolving conflict and being assertive.
Often challenges are recurring, it is always helpful to write notes about such occasions. The notes should be brief but they should include, how you feel about the situation and how you want the situation to change -
'My boss shouted at me again today: I felt intimidated: I would like him to stop'.
Now you can plan a proportionate response and practice how you are going to deliver it (without aggression) next time -
"I'm sorry I don't like your shouting because it makes me feel intimidated. I would like you to stop doing it."
Remember most challenges are directly related to our rights as human beings. If asserting yourself directly does not resolve an issue you may have to assert yourself by taking your complaint beyond the individual involved. This too would be a proportionate response.
How Can I Help?
I have learned over the years to deal with all sorts of conflict situations that could have been avoided/dealt with by an early injection of assertiveness.
From a 6' 9" mad, table thumping, athlete to a customer shouting all sorts of threats to labour dispute in a UK university it is likely that my experience will help anyone to work through their own situation.
As an aside; I used to be a 'confrontational leader' who met fire-with-fire. I have learnt over the years that asserting one's rights, rules, wishes etc need not be fuelled by high energy and aggression. Almost every situation can be dealt with in a calm and productive way. If you need help with this -
Warren Buffett reportedly said that really successful people say no a lot. I know it takes confidence to say no.