Assertiveness Skills Training Tips

Assertiveness Training

A practical approach Saying No. This section deals with ways you can say no without causing upset for yourself as well as others.

Assertiveness and Saying no

These are a few of the easier ways to say 'no'.

When you have to say something you want to be taken seriously, pay attention to your tendency to smile. People interpret smiling as agreement which tends to undermine the serious intent of what you're saying.

Stand up. Stand up if someone comes to you at your desk and you want to give the impression of being more in charge. Stand up when you're talking on the phone. Standing will put you on level terms with the other person and helps create a psychological advantage.

When someone starts to talk to you about something they want you to do that you think you may not like, avoid any sort of demonstration of encouragement, nods, ahas that sort of thing. Try to keep your body language as neutral as possible.

Try not to ask questions which might show that you are interested. Things like, 'So when do you want to do this?' or 'Do you really need this done by the end of the day?'

Try a few interruptions. One of the techniques to use could be something like, 'I'm so sorry, I have to interrupt you.' Use anything that comes to mind, however lame it may sound. The point is if you let someone say their whole piece without interrupting, they will start to think you're interested and probably willing to go along with what they are suggesting. If you are giving them nothing to indicate that you are not happy with what they are saying, they will assume you're ok with their ideas and will therefore feel entitled to ask you to do things to help.

Get in quickly. As soon as you have any indication that someone is making a bee line for and you get that sinking feeling because you just know they're going to ask you to do something you won't like, let them know. Something like this: 'Ah hello there! I know what you want. You want the Fenton report. I would like to help you out, but I'm snowed under right now.'

Then there are meetings. These are always a great place to end up with work you didn't want and don't have time to do. We see it coming like a car crash. So set out to insure yourself from the beginning. This could sound like: 'I just need to let you all know from the start, I can't fit anything into my diary for the next week or two...'

These are small, doable assertiveness tips that can help make you feel more confident. They will begin to support your new behaviour. You will begin to look and feel like someone who other people can no longer take advantage of. They weren't taking advantage on purpose; you were just an easy mark! All you have done here is to let people know that things are different now.



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If you want some in-depth thoughts about Assertiveness, read the article called
Is Assertiveness the Only Way

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