Assertiveness: 6 techniques to remain assertive in all circumstances
Rémi Zunino
Rémi Zunino

Assertiveness: 6 techniques to remain assertive in all circumstances

Assertiveness is a much sought-after quality in business. Whether it is a question of resolving a conflict or making a decision, being assertive allows you to remain firm in your convictions, while remaining flexible in form. Be careful, being assertive (or showing assertiveness) does not mean getting your way at all costs, but rather being in a position to listen actively while giving yourself the opportunity to express your point of view. Assertiveness is a delicate art to master, which is why it is very often a priority development area addressed during professional coaching sessions.

Discover in video 6 techniques to remain assertive in all circumstances:

Assertiveness: definition

The word "assertiveness" comes from the English term "assertiveness". It refers to the ability to express one's ideas and opinions and to get one's message across while remaining flexible, agile, attentive and adaptable to one's interlocutor(s). If we were to summarise the notion of 'assertiveness', we would say that it is the fact of daring to assert oneself while maintaining positive relations with one's environment. It means being in an authentic process of sharing one's points of view while really listening to those of the other person, in a position of equality, neither dominant nor inferior, in a real concern for sharing and building together. While remaining aware that it is not always possible to find common ground but that you really want to.

To put it more concretely, the person who knows is assertive:

- Defend your point of view without attacking others

- Expressing feelings freely (joy, disappointment, annoyance, anxiety, etc.)

- Establish relationships based on trust (not domination or manipulation). 

Are you assertive? Assess your assertiveness for free with our 5-minute assessment!

In what situations is it particularly useful to be assertive?

In negotiation, assertiveness is particularly useful in tense situations:

- When a strong demand has to be postponed

- When it is necessary to announce "bad news

- When you have to ask for something that might be refused

- When you have to deal with an aggressive negotiator

- When dealing with a manipulator...

In what situations is it particularly useful to be assertive?

What behaviours are not assertive?

When everything is going well, it is not difficult to remain assertive. To know if you are really assertive, you have to face difficult situations, stressful situations as stated above. In such situations, we have identified 3 ways of behaving that are not assertive:

Aggression :

When we shout, get angry, lose our temper, we are anything but assertive.

Flight / passivity :

In the interest of preserving the relationship we tend to crush ourselves, to keep silent about what we really think.

Handling :

This refers to the fact that sometimes you are sympathetic, sometimes you are very firm. The problem is that the person in front of you will never really know where you stand.
The challenge when you want to develop your assertiveness is not to be passive or manipulative, but assertive.
Let's see how!

Assertiveness: 6 techniques to remain assertive in all circumstances.

Be clear about the messages you want to convey:

What are your convictions? What are the key ideas in your message?

Reassure the interviewer :

Tell your contact person that you want to find a joint solution.

Listen to the person you are talking to:

Rephrase what your interlocutor says to establish a real dialogue between your ideas: your convictions, your strong messages, and those of your interlocutor. The objective: to show your interlocutor your desire to understand and integrate his or her point of view.

Be prepared to change your mind:

Assertiveness does not mean "never be wrong". One must also be able to say "Finally you are right, let's see how we can build new solutions with your ideas and proposals which have convinced me. The absence of assertiveness often goes hand in hand with the refusal to be wrong, the refusal of criticism and feedback.

How to give good feedback?

Remain attentive to your own and others' emotions:

The objective is first to understand what our emotions want to tell us about our needs, our request to the other person. Without forgetting to question the person about their feelings, especially if you feel that the person is uncomfortable. Indeed, beyond the dialogue, there are often misunderstandings, conflicting difficulties that are not expressed or not expressed at all. By taking an interest in the person's feelings, you will see what is expressed in their non-verbal language.

"What are the origins of our emotions?

Avoiding the "you, you, you

One of the keys to being assertive in all circumstances is to avoid "you" and to use "I" instead. When we say "you", we give the wrong impression. We call it the "you" that kills. Instead, say: "This is what I think and what do you think?

Assertiveness is the story of a lifetime. We are all, at times, in a difficult situation attracted by one of our "crutches". Whether it is the 'aggression' crutch, the 'escape/passivity' crutch or the 'manipulation' crutch. The first thing to do to develop assertiveness is to identify our crutch so that we can let go of it when it presents itself to us. The second thing is to be indulgent with ourselves and to tell ourselves that developing our assertiveness takes time. Being assertive is not something that comes naturally to all but a very few people. As Talentis coaches, we know how to accompany people who wish to develop their assertiveness.

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If you haven't already done so, take your free assertiveness test and come back to us so that we can work together on the points that seem most important to you.

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