Thursday 18 September 2014

Stay On The Assertiveness Ladder

Staying On The Assertiveness Ladder

Confidence is a key component of assertiveness and vice-versa. For some, confidence is also hard to acquire and easy to lose. So, it's useful to begin to understand some of the elements that can increase your confidence: what is it you'd like to be confident about?

When we've worked with clients whose personal and or professional confidence is in a bad place, part of the challenge is to help people to understand that they have some "rights." Now, whereas the list below spells some of them out, we're not always going to feel good about asking for them to be met. Nonetheless, here we go:
  • I have the right to say no
  • I have the right to ask questions
  • I have the right to express my opinions
  • I have the right to make my own mistakes
  • I have the right to put my own need in front of others
  • I have the right to ask for help and support when I need it
And it's fair to state that some of our work is an outcome of individuals feeling that they are not recognised, that they have in some ways "ceased to exist" and that their rights are denied

We believe that we can be more confident and assertive if we have a go at contextualising what it is we actually want to experience happening to us. Doing this gives us access to a much clearer and clean conversation with those who we feel are denying us.
It's also important to remember that this is an "Upwards/Downwards/Sideways" process that can be used with colleagues across the organisation. Upwards intimidation happens too!

Here Are Some Questions for You:
If you are not being heard, you are going to suppress some really important ideas and feelings; if this happens:
  • What impact does it have on you?
  • What impact does it have on your team?
  • What impact does it have on the quality of your work?
  • What impact does it have on your happiness and well-being?
  • What impact does it have on your family and friends?
It's really helpful if we set this out in a format that helps to be clear about what we want for example:

My rights
  • I have the right to:-"Challenge Ray when he sets short deadlines"
  • I have the right to:-"Turn off my work mobile at leave it off until 7.30 a.m
  • I have the right to:-"Be given time to develop my ideas and be heard"
So here are 3 prompts to get you thinking:-
  • What would you out on your "Rights List"?
  • What would you prioritise?
  • If things changed for the better, what would you notice?
Good luck! And if you'd like to know more you can contact us at You can find out more about our work on our web-site

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