Now at first sight the title for today’s article may seem a bit odd to say the least. How can anyone be more assertive by saying less?
Well, the interesting thing is that, non assertive people have a habit of overdoing it when they try to be assertive. They over justify or over apologise which undermines the very messages that they are trying to give. In Assertive Communication, as in many other areas of life, Less Is More.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that to be assertive you shouldn’t say anything! But rather that if you say it more concisely it will come across more clearly and assertively. Now if you are in the habit of overdoing the words and talking yourself into doing things that you don’t want to do then don’t worry. You can change. The key is to start by doing a little homework.
Think about one or two situations where you would like to be a little or a lot more assertive. What would you like to say if the situation arises again. What is a polite and concise way of expressing your wants desires of feelings? Imagine you are a script writer and you are writing the dialogue for this scene. What would the character that you play say to express their opinions assertively?
Don’t forget the power of silence. When you have made your point clearly and assertively, shut up! Zip the lip! Confident, assertive people are comfortable with silence and this communicates authority and assertiveness.