Assertiveness Skills

Many job-related frustrations and stresses can be traced to discomfort in handling difficult situations:  We may avoid dealing with these types of situations or may offend others by coming on too strong.  We need to learn to act assertively by expressing concerns directly, firmly and with composure.

Six ideas to increase success include:

  1. Strive to be realistic, responsible and respectful.
  1. Build your confidence and your self esteem every day by reflecting on “what’s good about you?”
  1. Structure your sentence to begin with “I” followed by either “expected” or “prefer” or “need”, when you are providing feedback concerning performance problems.
  1. When saying no, remember to be gracious by always offering an alternative.
  1. Use three sentences to disagree diplomatically.
    1. Paraphrase to demonstrate your understanding of their recommendation
    2. Acknowledge the value of their recommendation
    3. Present your own recommendation
  1. Ask questions to ensure that you work together to a resolve conflict when an issue is important to you. i.e.:
    1. What do you need?
    2. How can we resolve this situation?
    3. What would it take to fix this?

Information is power; use the additional information to then go on to establish common ground and mutual goals.