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Very often the subject of Assertiveness arises in a coaching relationship. We all lack assertiveness somewhere in our lives; I see both powerful people and the timid giving themSelves away. You have surrounded yourself with your current life situation because of the choices you've made in your life. As you learn more about yourself and the choices you have made, you may realise that a lack of assertiveness has played an important part in your feeling of lacking, lost-ness or powerless. If you wish the future to be better than the past, you need to make better choices and some of those choices may involve being more assertive in the way you communicate with others.
Do you have trouble saying no, even when you really should?
Do you feel like people walk all over you?
Do you have trouble keeping your temper under control?
No one else will speak up for you if you do not!
Assertiveness is the ability to express yourself and your rights without violating the rights of others. It is appropriately direct, open, and honest communication which is self-enhancing and expressive.
Assertive behaviour will allow you to feel self-confident and will generally gain you the respect of your peers and friends. It can increase your chances for honest relationships and help you to feel better about yourself and your self-control in everyday situations. This, in turn, will improve your decision-making ability and your chances of getting what you really want from life -- assertiveness can be the focus of our coaching work together.
Non-assertive behaviour includes avoidance, withdrawal, timidity, deference, submissiveness, fearfulness, and indirectness. We can explore your communication styles as a part of our coaching work and may reveal that more assertiveness would help you bring more equality to your significant relationships. Our work may well focus on helping you assert yourself to deal with the big-energy-drainers in your life. As you start to master speaking up and looking after your needs you will enjoy several other benefits from behaving assertively...
- Speak up (where you would normally be timid, make requests, ask for favours )
- Ask why
- Express negative emotions
- Show positive emotions ... "Thank you."
- Question authority or tradition
- Initiate, carry on, change and terminate conversations comfortably.
- Deal with minor irritations
What causes people to avoid being assertive?
As children we were probably criticized when we expressed opinions or desires especially if they differed from the opinions of our parents or peers. Effectively we were taught, what we want is not important -- what is important is what other people want. We learned that openly revealing our true thoughts and feelings will lead to rejection. Many of us may have become so intent on pleasing others that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves... and perhaps can no longer identify our own thoughts and feelings.
Think about it...
Most people are not assertive for fear of displeasing others and of not being liked. How many of these statements do you remember being told as a child?
- don't be selfish
- don't make mistakes
- don't be emotional
- don't tell people if you don't like them
- don't be so unreasonable
- don't question people
- don't interrupt
- don't trouble others with your problems
- don't complain
- don't upset others
- don't brag
- don't be anti-social
- do what people ask you to do
- help people who need help
- and on and on...
- Either way, a lot of us grew up without the skills or the confidence to practice assertiveness.
If you do not assert yourself you end up with a You Win -- I Lose situation
When we are non-assertive we focus too much on pleasing others and meeting the goals of other people, as opposed to satisfying our own values, goals and happiness. Often non-assertiveness results from being in unfamiliar situations, or where you have previously experienced a negative outcome.
Assertiveness leads to more self-respect and happiness. To become assertive it is important to learn the right skills and have adequate motivation to use those skills in that situation. My assertiveness coaching generally has the following approach...
- Understanding assertiveness
- What are your needs? Realize where changes are needed and believe in your rights.
- Build up your courage by reviewing all the reasons for changing.
- Figure out appropriate ways of asserting yourself in each specific situation that concerns you.
- Set assertiveness goals.
- Practice giving assertive responses.
- The new you! Be assertive in real life situations.
Take up the challenge of living an assertive future. Using a safe and supportive foundation of trust, freedom of expression and commitment, I always work to help you explore your inner being, to regain balance in your personal and working life and to align with your true values and fullest potential. Using a stimulating London-based face-to-face program customised to fit your current personal development needs, my life coaching focuses on your inner guidance, purpose, skills, beliefs, techniques and processes necessary to take you into a great future.
I partner with intelligent, successful people who want to excel at their passion, gifts and unique talents in a way that brings them success, happiness and balance. Otherwise, do what you always did and you will get what you always got!