Recognising how to be more Assertive is easier than you think

There are many ways to become more assertive, here are a couple of thoughts you might want to consider trying:

  1. Don’t allow others to control you with their requests

Be ready for, and anticipate, the behaviour of others and prepare your responses.  

Give yourself some thinking time. 

Perhaps you should practice saying “hold on a minute – I need to consider what you have just said”. 

Or you might consider saying “I’m not sure about that, it’s too important to make a snap decision now”.

  1. Ask open questions

For example: “How did you go about looking for alternative solutions?” or “Who have you already asked about this?

  1. Use confident body language

Maintain good eye contact and an open expression – not smiling but not scowling.  (If you aren’t sure how to do this, look in the mirror until you perfect your open expression.)

Avoid folding arms or hands on hips. 

If sitting, cross your legs with your knee pointing in the direction of the other person.   If standing, keep feet slightly apart.

  1. Say no without feeling guilty

Make it easier to say ‘no’ sometimes by avoiding nodding or using affirming gestures.   Instead, to decline a request ensure you shake your head (you’ll be surprised how many people nod when saying ‘no’).  Try to express some regret for example “I wish I could help you out, but I just can’t”.  

I often use an assertiveness profile questionnaire when working with clients.   If you’d like to complete your own assertiveness profile questionnaire, please contact me and I will arrange for you to have a copy.


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