What are the issues with assertiveness

Improve assertiveness: 5 tips

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Hardly any other quality is expected of managers (in particular) as much as Assertiveness. Those who cannot assert themselves usually have disadvantages and disadvantages - also in their private lives. People without assertiveness are more often taken advantage of, exploited and also taken less seriously and respected. your Improve assertiveness, therefore many wish. But is that even possible - and if so: how? The following guide shows you how to increase your assertiveness and yours Achieve interests and goals better

Strengthening assertiveness and training: It's a matter of your head

Do you know that? In the meeting, yours go proposals under. If you have a good one idea you are even stolen by the boss. The promising prestige projects are regularly presented to you by colleagues snatched away. And in negotiations you always get the short straw ... Welcome to the club! It is the same for many people.

But as annoying as that is, you have to learn to yourself better enforce. Not at any price and not with every concern. But then when it comes down to it - you above all.

Especially in the job there is a lot of blows and stings and competition among each other. Power struggles are on the agenda in many companies. Doing your job well is simply not enough to climb the career ladder. Unfortunately. So you need a certain Standing - Just assertiveness.

According to definition Assertiveness is the ability to express one's interests, goals and intentions ...

  • perceive
  • …to follow and
  • …for her to stand up - even against resistance.

From this we can already identify three main ones Components of assertiveness derive:

And all of them together are one thing above all else: pure Head thing.

Certainly, some people naturally find it easier, others more difficult. The second include in particular Contemporaries shy of conflict and in need of harmony. They shy away from the confrontation that inevitably occurs when others conflict with their own interests and one is genuine Persuasion afford and appropriate Fighting spirit must show.

Resistance is not pointless at all!

Make no mistake: Who is always nice and to everything YES says, is no longer necessarily liked and certainly no longer respected. On the contrary: if you hit the table from time to time, “mostly gets what you want,” says Iowa State University's social psychologist Brad Bushman, who has researched this in more detail. The well-dosed test of anger proves energy and assertiveness, takes the others by surprise and forces them on the defensive.

This is also confirmed by his colleague Larissa Tiedens from Stanford University. "Those who express their will appear more dominant and stronger," says Tiedens. She carried out a study on this and examined the reactions of students to different facial expressions. Result: People who look sad are classified as amiable, but they are also considered weak. Anyone who is annoyed about it appears strong and clever. The test subjects even conceded that these people had a more pronounced sense of justice and the ability to get their things sorted out. So offer - measured - resistance.

Improve assertiveness: This is how it works

Of course it works with that Assertiveness training not eat-or-die rhetoric. Neither is it about physical violence. You definitely need a certain amount for this mental flexibility and willingness to compromise - at least you should signal this for tactical reasons.

Likewise, be sure to stick to the goals you represent believe yourself. Everything else flashes through sooner or later - and then the assertiveness is over.

Moreover, yours should The project is understandable for others and the intention is transparent be. Anyone who suspects a trap will hardly be convinced. Credibility and trust play - as in any negotiation - a key role in assertiveness. The more detailed you formulate your concern, the greater the chance of asserting yourself.

In addition, the following tips will help you be more assertive:

  1. Prioritize your arguments.

    After you have made yourself aware of your goals, please come up with a few solid arguments in favor of them.

    Anyone entering the discussion unprepared here offers too many points of attack. Actually a matter of course. The trick for more assertiveness here, however, is to anticipate possible objections and, like a chess player, think a few moves in advance.

    Particularly shrewd tacticians even use the first (weaker) argument to provoke potential adversaries to an expected reaction and thus let them fall into a trap that has already been argued. Otherwise, the classic triad applies: strongest argument at the beginning, weakest second, second strongest argument at the end. This is how you keep an ace up your sleeve and wear down critics.

    This is particularly convincing if you remain calm, relaxed and exceptionally friendly all the time. By the way, you can learn a lot from classic presentation techniques here.

  2. Train your body language.

    Very few know how to convince in an argument with non-verbal signals. This is a particularly important aspect of the art of persuasion, which, when used correctly (and dosed), avoids misunderstandings, provides advantages and saves time.

    Cramped shoulders, an unsteady gait, a lack of eye contact, a lack of smile - all of this reveals nervousness and insecurity. The image of the aspiring maker is then over.

    The following gestures, on the other hand, are much more likely to show strength, power and high status: Slow, elegant movements; relaxed smile; upright, still head position; strong voice. Eye contact is also crucial. Contrary to expectations, however, power is not expressed by those who fearlessly and incessantly staring into the eyes of the other person, but rather by those who look away after the first change of gaze: they can afford to ignore the other person.

  3. Learn to say no

    Everyone likes the nice, helpful colleagues because they make their own (!) Life easier. Those who are only too willing to give their help or ideas to others pay a high price: increasing frustration, increasing overload and decreasing respect.

    The phenomenon has long had a relevant name: Courtesy trap. First one is ensnared with compliments, then the understanding for the needs of the colleague is awakened, sometimes there is also gentle pressure on the tear gland and an appeal to reciprocity, motto: Back then I also gave you ... And Zack snaps the trap: From small favors here and there a real part-time job grows.

    Better: set limits and learn to say no. It is the law of supply and demand: what is easy to get is automatically of less value. Those who, on the other hand, hold back elegantly, make themselves scarce and occasionally refuse, are more often surrounded and respected by supplicants.

  4. Do not use the subjunctive.

    Language not only reveals awareness - it also shapes it in your counterpart and thus subtly influences whether you assert yourself or not.

    Formulations like: I would have ... I would like to ... I could also ... Actually ... signal through the Immediate subjunctive uncertainty. They are typical plasticizers and are almost always used. It is better to formulate your goals and wishes unambiguously, clearly and precisely - without further ado. Garnished with a smile, this is still polite, but shows a will to assert yourself.

  5. Show understanding.

    That sounds paradoxical at first glance. But just by showing your counterpart that you understand their arguments, motives and interests, you increase the acceptance of yours. So don't just listen attentively, but actively. Develop empathy and emotional intelligence to intercept and better parry the emotions of the other.

    In particular, if the other person has long since left the factual level, you can get him back and on an emotional level win for your project - but only if he or she has the feeling: He understands me and tries to solve my problem too!

The most important tip to improve your assertiveness, however, is: practice, practice, practice. Do not avoid confrontations and train yourself to stand up for your ideas - and defeat will turn into new ones Gain strength.

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December 16, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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