How to mastermind assertiveness in 2014

Do you feel uneasy expressing how you feel? Do you waffle, justify, defend or clam up?

When you mastermind assertiveness you only explain your reasoning, if you choose to. You know your rights and you feel worthy of exerting them.

You are willing to be open and compromise. It is OK to say to someone, 'I like you but I like me too'.

Masterminding assertiveness means feeling confident about handling conflict, facing the other person, looking them in the eye and keeping an open mind demonstrating open body language.

Here are a few examples;

  • “John, sorry I am not comfortable loaning money but I am happy to help you develop a spending plan.”

  • “Mum, I would love to talk with you, but it doesn’t work for me to speak after 9pm on week nights.”

  • "Janice, I find it unacceptable for you to swear in front of my children, please refrain from doing so."

  • "James, you need to go watch TV  downstairs for an hour, I need space, please do not disturb me."

  • "Mr Anglia, I would like to take Tuesday off, but I will ensure my work is covered.”

  • “Thank you for your opinion, but I am not comfortable with doing what you suggest, and will do what feels right for me.”

It's all about feeling in control of yourself and feeling competent, and refusing to allow others to manipulate or control you. It's about always addressing issues as they arise, not a week or month after. Being aware you are 100% responsible for your own happiness and serenity.

Assertive means not being aggressive.

Masterminding assertiveness means placing high priority on having your rights respected, but also respecting the rights of others.

It doesn't mean strutting around with a sense of entitlement and expectations of everyone meeting your needs, nor does it mean claiming responsibility for how others think and feel.

There is a vast difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Assertive behaviour means being clear, honest and to the point. Aggressive behaviour is being completely insensitive to other people's feelings.

Assertive people consider their options, and process things first before replying to an email, text, question or a remark from someone in front of them. They do not deny it if there is a problem, they do not smile when they are angry. 

Aggressive people often violate others rights, and generate fear in others. They use shaming language and / or manipulate others to agree with them. They often act in a threatening and rude tone, or criticise others. They smile at you and then go behind your back. They humiliate others and flag up their shortcomings, and more than often, take others inventory.

Identify your hot spots

  • What presses your buttons?

  • Do you communicate clearly and assertively?

  • Why do you react to certain people and situations?

  • If you don’t stand up for yourself, why don’t you?

  • What are your listening skills like?

  • Are you aware of others feelings and needs during a conflict?

  • Are you aware of your non verbal communication?

  • Do you always look others directly in the eye when speaking?

  • Do you use paraphrasing and feedback during a conversation?

  • When speaking with challenging people do you suggest solutions or engage in a drama?   

Once you have identified your hot spots, you can be much more aware of what triggers you and when you need to be more assertive.

Play around with my examples and tweak and refine them to work for you, so they sound natural and remember always label the behaviour, never the person.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

Share this article with a friend

Written by a listed life coach

Show comments

Find a life coach offering Personal Development Coaching

All coaches are verified professionals.

Related Articles

More articles