How to be more assertive
Assertiveness is a life skill which enables you to communicate with confidence and dignity. When you know how to be assertive you can gain respect from other people, and reach your goals faster. This is because assertive language makes others listen and take notice of what you have to say. If you fail to be assertive other people may over-look your opinions, and you are less likely to get what you desire in life.
Non verbal communication is just as important as what you say, if not more so. By using your body language you can show other people that you are bold and confident.
Assertive people are not meek and mild. They are not afraid to physically take up space. When you sit, move or speak, use your body to engage with the space around you. Be aware of your body and whether you are making yourself small, as opposed to being expansive.
Make sure that your posture is one of confidence, by standing straight, rather than hunching over, and by meeting the gaze of other people, instead of avoiding eye contact.
The way you behave will send signals to other people about how confident you are. There-fore behave as you imagine someone with high self esteem would behave. Speak up when you have something to say. Join in with conversations, and don’t be shy when it comes to interacting with people in general.
The more practice you have communicating, the better able you will be to assert yourself effectively when you need to.
It is also important to stand your ground during a dispute, and not to let others opinions over shadow yours. It is possible to listen to the view of other people without agreeing, and still put your own ideas forward.
Combining steps one and two with speech
Assertive speech uses tone and volume to express the importance of what is being said, and to add emphasis to certain points. To speak assertively, form your words with clarity and project your voice, rather than mumbling.
If you hold your head up high as you speak and face the person you are talking to, they will be able to hear you better and will take you more seriously. Hold eye contact as you speak and use assertive behaviour at the same time by physically taking up space.
Combine further body language to create assertive behaviour by highlighting important words you say. Politicians do this by using a chopping motion with their hand as they reach a critical part of their speech. You can do this by marking out certain words in a similar way, or by nodding your head at the right time.
Sructuring what you say
Structure what you say assertively by being clear about your goal. Know what your desired outcome is, and structure your speech to enable you to get what you want.
A great way to use assertive behaviour when negotiating with someone is to be direct, concise and confident. Use assertive words in sentences, and don’t let others bulldoze you by butting in and speaking over you.