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To be successful you have to be pushy...right

We all know nice guys come last...

My colleague, Gordon, tells a lovely story. He was running one of our communication courses and in the next room there was a different company running an assertiveness programme. At the start of the day both groups were having coffee.  Both groups were mingling and chatting, the people on the assertiveness course seemed lovely, polite, normal people. By the afternoon break, things had changed. Those on the assertiveness course were pushing to the front of the queue demanding they had their coffee first!
This, of course, is not assertiveness. Assertive people stand up for their own rights and the rights of other people in a respectful and calm manner. They exercise their own rights without denying the rights of others. They are neither pushy nor a pushover!
If you want to develop greater assertiveness it helps to start being aware of where you want to be more assertive. Be specific about it. It can help to think about different interactions you have at work.
Start by identifying two people who, in a work context, you have positive interactions with. Think of how they behave towards you and how you also behave towards them.
Compare and contrast that with two people who you have a difficult relationship with, in a work context. Now, think of how they behave towards you and how you behave towards them.
Make a note of how your behaviours are different in these two scenarios.
Changing the key behaviours will help boost your assertiveness. For example:
  • If you notice that you might ramble in certain situations, try being more direct and keeping your sentences shorter.
  • Be aware of your body language – look at the other person, centre yourself and keep your voice calm.
  • If you find yourself apologising a lot of the time do you really need to?
  • Being assertive doesn’t mean being strident - warm open communication usually works best.
If you want to learn more about assertiveness you might be interested in our course on assertiveness in the workplace.

Please click here for further information on our assertiveness workshop we offer in this field:

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