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How to develop assertiveness?

As we discussed on my last blog, assertiveness is a personal quality of being confident, direct and self-assured when communicating with others without being aggressive. Here are some strategic points on how to develop this useful soft-skill:

1. Understand who you are.

  • Value your self along with your feelings and needs; understanding that yours are as important as everyone else.
  • Know your rights and make them worth; recognize other's and protect them too.
  • Always remember that you deserve to treated with respect and dignity and give back the same.
  • You don't need to apologize for everything, not everything is your fault or is under your control. 

2. Recognize your own needs and wants.

  • Speak up your needs and wants, don't expect on others to find them.
  • Go after your needs as a mean to get your best performance.
  • Don't go over other people's needs and wants in other to satisfy yours. Get to the balance. 

3. Don't take blame for other people's behavior.

  • Never take responsibility for other people's reaction when you're being assertive, they may express anger, frustration or resentment (among others). You are responsible only about yourself.

4. Be forthright and direct, but express in a positive way.

  • Say what you need to say, but have in mind other people's feelings and rights.
  • Be mild, don't lose yourself to negative or aggressive emotions.
  • You can get angry, but keep respectful.
  • Avoid using a passive-aggressive communication.

5. Be open for criticism and compliments.

  • Accept and appreciate compliments.
  • Recognize that you can be mistaken and ask for help if you need it.
  • Receive constructive criticism and react positively on it.
  • Accept any feedback (even if it's not constructive) in a positive way, express yourself when you don't agree with that, but control your emotions and don't get defensive or aggressive.

6. It's OK to say “No” when needed, this is a key for assertiveness.

  • Be aware of your boundaries.
  • Acknowledge that you can't do everything and fulfill everyone else needs.
  • Look to get to a win-win agreement.
  • Be ethic, follow what is correct for you.

Miguel D.

Miguel has over 10 years of experience in the industry and wide range of expertise as Business Analyst and Project Lead, he's a Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Professional for CRM and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (or MCTS if you want to abbreviate) for SQL Server. Born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, he enjoys video games, board games and movies. He has written posts related to essential BA’s skills, make sure you read them!