May 9, 2010
To be assertive is to have the ability to express your point of view, your thoughts, feelings, and wants while keeping the rights of others in mind. Being assertive is a balance; in other words, one can achieve the goal without hurting others. An assertive person learns which reaction to choose, whether it be acting non-assertively, assertive, or aggressive on a case by case basis. However, acting assertively is not always the best choice in achieving the best possible outcome. The assertive person has to have that ability to stop and think what is in his or her best interest and the ...view middle of the document...
This just goes to show the great level of responsibility that comes with choosing to take the assertive role.
Assertive individuals do not force their opinions upon others; instead, they will ask why and they are not afraid to say they do not understand. One valuable technique I picked up while working in retail is to know your audience and use the LUR method – Listen, Understand, and Respond. Using skills such as active listening and asking questions lets the audience know you understand where they are coming from, which in result will allow them to form a trust with you. This technique can be applied to both one’s personal (family, friends, spouse) and professional life (co-workers, managers, staff). Everyone is different and I feel as one starts to progress through life he or she will become more assertive and know when what technique should be applied to the situation. As one starts to develop his or her own thoughts and opinions and starts moving away with trying to fit in with the social norms, he will become more confident in his actions; thus, becoming more assertive. Also, as one is exposed to different situations throughout life he or she will start to realize that maybe you do not agree or you want a change. Life changes, you get to a point where it is no longer about being liked but more about doing what needs to be done to progress.
If a person would like to become more assertive they must first know themselves. It is important to find a balance between non-assertiveness and aggression that is suited to fit your life. If this person is shy he or she needs to break out of their shell and not be afraid to stick their neck out on the line; after all, “even a turtle has to stick its neck out of its shell to move forward” (Havelin, 2000, p. 14). A person seeking to become assertive needs to be comfortable with using more “I” statements, despite the fact that this is not always accepted in today’s society. Where would we be today if thoughts and ideas went uncontested? If you get rejected the first time it is important to keep at it – being assertive takes practice. It is important that the assertive person remembers to get the point across quickly and calmly by speaking clear, acting relaxed, and remaining comfortable with your surroundings. Also, remember to respect the opinions of others and listen to their feedback after voicing your own thoughts and opinions. Sympathize with those you are talking to and do not be afraid to let them know you understand where they are coming from. Simply put, treat others how you would like to be treated. (Patterson, 2000, p. 98-100)
Another key to effective assertiveness is to see how others see you. Others may take your assertive behavior in the wrong context and view it as a personal attack, which will result in them acting the opposite...