Stop saying ‘Yes’ when you mean ‘No’. Communicate your wants and needs in a way that brings you a positive outcome. Counselling to become more assertive in your personal & work life.
For many of us, both in work and our personal lives, being assertive and saying what we mean does not necessarily come easily. Coaching to build your assertiveness skills will help you to communicate clearly what you want and what you are not happy to accept and to define and set boundaries, both for yourself and for others.
Do I have trouble being Assertive?
It may be that you have never really thought about it until now, perhaps you have always said to yourself “I like being agreeable and keeping the peace”
However, do you identify with any of the following?
- I feel guilty when I say ‘No’ to a request.
- I find it hard to put myself first or to ask someone to do something for me.
- I get upset when others challenge my decisions or opinions.
- I agree to things that I know I don’t want to do, don’t have time to do.
- I don’t feel that people listen to my arguments or see my point of view.
- I avoid any confrontations in work or my personal life.
These are just a few examples of behaviour that suggests you could learn to be more assertive and feel more in control of the decisions you want to make.
If I learn to be more assertive, will I be seen as more aggressive?
Being more assertive does not mean being more aggressive, rude or blunt in your approach.
Assertiveness sits midway on a scale where at one end of the scale you would be seen as ‘aggressive’ and at the other end you would be seen as ‘passive’.
Learning to be assertive starts with knowing your boundaries
Defining your boundaries may sound hard, however in reality what you are really doing is defining the limits of what you will and won’t accept, what you are comfortable to agree to and what you find unacceptable.
During your assertiveness coaching sessions you will discuss those areas in your life when you interacting with others and where you find it hard to get the outcomes you want rather than caving in and feeling like you are always the one to ‘give way’.
Being assertive and setting and maintaining your boundaries is about learning to communicate clearly and without anger or aggression, what you mean and where your parameters lie.
No one can read your mind, so you need to tell them!
Counselling for learning to be more assertive in your personal relationships
- Assertiveness in relationships: Communicating your wants and needs clearly to your partner.
- Assertiveness & setting boundaries in your family life: Coping with challenging children, overbearing parents, differences in parenting styles.
Many of the issues that are explored in counselling, anger, stress, anxiety, sexual issues, relationship problems etc. often have links to personal boundaries and how we do and don’t allow other people to treat us. Often, we learn our personal boundaries from our upbringing and early life experiences we add to this as we grow and the experiences we have.
During the assertiveness session you will explore some of the past events that may have formed your normal response (passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive) and you may look at how you might now change your response and feel more in control and obtain the desired outcome of the conversation or situation.
Coaching for building assertiveness skills and setting boundaries in your career, work or professional relationships
- Assertiveness & setting boundaries with colleagues: Feeling in control of workloads and demands made on your time.
- Assertiveness in work communications: Discussing salary, negotiating work levels, delegating without feeling guilty, accepting other points of view.
Work & professional relationships can often present us with awkward or challenging conversations where we feel we need to ‘press’ our own point of view or win an argument.
Communicating assertively and setting out your boundaries will help to ensure that not only do you stand a greater chance of being heard but that you will be more likely to achieve your goal of the conversation, or at least meet the other person half way.
The benefits of being assertive
Being assertive is usually viewed as a healthier communication style. Being assertive offers many benefits. It helps you keep people from walking all over you. It can also help you from steamrolling others.
The benefits of behaving assertively can help you:
- Gain self-confidence and self-esteem
- Understand and recognise your feelings
- Earn respect from others
- Improve communication
- Create win-win situations: benefitting those around you too
- Improve your decision-making skills
- Create honest relationships
- Gain more job satisfaction
Learning to be more assertive can also help you effectively express your feelings when communicating with others about issues.
Counselling for Assertiveness: Coaching to learn to set and maintain your boundaries.
Take the first step to being more confident, agree to only those things you want to do and feeling more in control, Counselling for Assertiveness and setting your boundaries.
Help and advice on how to be more assertive and set your boundaries
This MindTools video explains clearly the difference between being assertive and being aggressive and gives some simple advice on how to be more assertive and set your boundaries.
© Brian Cotsen