Building Your Assertiveness

Sections of this topic

    Copyright Carter
    McNamara, Authenticity Consulting, LLC

    Sections of this Topic Include

    What is Assertiveness?
    What About Aggressiveness? Are They the Same?
    How Assertive Are You?
    Strategies to Become More Assertive

    What is Assertiveness?

    In the context of management, assertiveness is respectfully and tactfully representing
    yourself — your opinions and recommendations — fully to others. Here are some
    definitions to consider:

    Assertiveness is the quality of being self-assured and confident without
    being aggressive. In the field of psychology and psychotherapy, it is a learnable
    skill and mode of communication.

    Medical Dictionary
    defines assertiveness as:

    A form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation
    of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person’s rights or
    point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another
    (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore
    or deny one’s rights or point of view.

    Many experts would argue that you can’t effectively lead others if you can’t
    effectively lead yourself. Assertiveness is a major aspect of self-leadership.

    What About Aggressiveness? Are They
    the Same?

    Assertiveness and aggressiveness are sometimes confusing to think about because
    they can seem to be the same. However, they are different — actually quite
    different. Here is a very
    concise and useful description

    Assertive people state their opinions, while still being respectful of others.
    Aggressive people attack or ignore others’ opinions in favor of their own.

    Thus, you can be assertive (respectfully asserting your rights) without intending
    to attack or ignore someone.

    How Assertive Are You?

    Take this online test to decide how assertive you are.

    Assertiveness Inventory

    Do you need to improve your assertiveness? Consider some of the strategies
    listed below.

    Strategies to Become More Assertive

    It takes a certain amount of courage to assert yourself — to be seen, to risk
    that your opinion may be wrong and that others might respond with strong disagreement
    or even aggression. Here are some other traits that are useful in building on
    your skills in assertiveness.

    — to respectfully be honest and forthright about yourself, in the moment.

    — to know what you are feeling and to sense how others might
    react to your assertions.

    and Inspiring Yourself
    — to know what will give you the courage to be assertive.

    Self -Awareness
    — to realize that you are feeling offended, threatened or have a strong wish
    that is not being honored.

    — to have the faith in yourself that you can defend yourself — your pride
    and your honor.

    — to risk how others might react to your assertions.

    Here are some other suggestions:
    to Be More Assertive at Work (Without Being a Jerk)
    Tips for Being Assertive
    Nice Person’s Guide To Becoming More Assertive
    Powerful Habits That Make You More Assertive
    Assertiveness: A Beginner’s
    Guide to Standing Up for Yourself

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Assertiveness

    In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which
    have posts related to Assertiveness. Scan down the blog’s page to see various
    posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or
    click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog.

    Coaching Blog

    Human Resources Blog

    Spirituality Blog

    For the Category of Personal Wellness:

    To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

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