Assertive Communication: 20 Helpful Tips
Most of us know that assertiveness will get you further in
life than being passive or aggressive. But few of us were
actually taught how to be assertive. Here are some helpful
1. Choose the right time. Imagine you're dashing down
the hall on your way to a meeting. Lisa passes by. You call
out, "Can you have the Microsoft project out by Tuesday?"
Because you haven't scheduled a special time to bring up the
issue, Lisa has no reason to think your request deserves high
2. Choose the right place. Discuss important issues
in a private, neutral location.
3. Be direct. For example, "Lisa, I would like you
to work overtime on the Microsoft project." Whether or not
Lisa likes your request, she respects you for your directness.
4. Say "I," not "we." Instead of saying, "We need the
project by Tuesday," say, "I would like you to finish the
project by Tuesday."
5. Be specific. Instead of, "Put a rush on the Microsoft
project," say, "I would like the Microsoft project finished
and on Joe's desk by 9:00 Tuesday morning."
6. Use body language to emphasize your words. "Lisa,
I need that report Tuesday morning," is an assertive statement.
But if you mumble this statement while staring at the floor,
you undermine your message.
7. Confirm your request. Ask your staff to take notes
at meetings. At the end of each meeting, ask your group to
repeat back the specifics that were agreed upon. This minimizes
8. Stand up for yourself. Don't allow others to take
advantage of you; insist on being treated fairly. Here are
a few examples: "I was here first," "I'd like more coffee,
please," "Excuse me, but I have another appointment," "Please
turn down the radio," or "This steak is well done, but I asked
for medium rare."
9. Learn to be friendly with people you would like to know
better. Do not avoid people because you don't know what
to say. Smile at people. Convey that you are happy to see
10. Express your opinions honestly. When you disagree
with someone, do not pretend to agree. When you are asked
to do something unreasonable, ask for an explanation.
11. Share your experiences and opinions. When you have
done something worthwhile, let others know about it.
12. Learn to accept kind words. When someone compliments
you, say, "Thank you."
13. Maintain eye contact when you are in a conversation.
14. Don't get personal. When expressing annoyance or
criticism, comment on the person's behavior rather than attacking
the person. For example: "Please don't talk to me that way,"
rather than, "What kind of jerk are you?"
15. Use "I" statements when commenting on another's behavior.
For example: "When you cancel social arrangements at the last
minute, it's extremely inconvenient and I feel really annoyed."
16. State what you want. If appropriate, ask for another
behavior. ("I think we'd better sit down and try to figure
out how we can make plans together and cut down on this kind
17. Look for good examples. Pay attention to assertive
people and model your behavior after theirs.
18. Start slowly. Express your assertiveness in low-anxiety
situations at first; don't leap into a highly emotional situation
until you have more confidence. Most people don't learn new
19. Reward yourself each time you push yourself to formulate
an assertive response. Do this regardless of the response
from the other person.
20. Don't put yourself down when you behave passively or
aggressively. Instead, identify where you went off course
and learn how to improve.
Garrett Coan is a professional therapist, coach, and
pscyhotherapist. His two New Jersey office locations are accessible
to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Rockland County,
Essex County, Passaic County and Manhattan. He also offers
online and telephone counseling services. He can be accessed
or at 201-303-4303.
Article Source: www.articlesaz.com
Return to The Mental Game
of Coaching Articles directory.