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How do I become more assertive?

Every month we invite our community to ask questions relating to their own professional and personal development. If you have a question you'd like to ask us, please send us an email here... info@modocoaching.com.au

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Question for August, 2020

​How do I become more assertive?

​Maria R - Sydney, Australia

Modo's Answer

Great question, we often get asked this in our executive coaching sessions. Many leaders would like to become more assertive in their leadership styles. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your journey to becoming more assertive.

First, answer these questions for yourself below;

  • How assertive are you currently 0-10?
  • How assertive do you want to become 0-10?
  • ​What stops you from being more assertive?
  • What resources do you think you need to become more assertive? New skills, confidence, courage?
  • In what contexts do you want to display assertiveness? With work colleagues? Family? Certain situations? Be specific.
  • What impact will it have on you and others when you are more assertive in these contexts? Where might it not be valuable?
  • Why do this? Why is becoming more assertive important to you?

​Next, explore what assertiveness is to you and what it is not? It is important that you know what assertiveness is, so you know what it looks like when you achieve it.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Assertiveness is:

  • ​When you display confidence.
  • ​Knowing that you deserve respect.
  • ​When you tell the truth about what is just.
  • ​When you ask for what you want and need.
  • ​When you set and hold your boundaries in place.
  • ​When you express your own thoughts and feelings and think for yourself. 

Assertiveness is not:

  • Aggression, or bullying.
  • Yelling or dominating.
  • Apologising for having needs and wants.
  • Being in control or always getting your own way.

​How do I practice being assertive?

First you may need to access the resource you discovered earlier… new skills, confidence, or courage for example. It may be a lack of confidence that is stopping you from being assertive, therefore it is not actually more assertiveness that you need, but confidence which will allow this skill to materialise. See our other Q&A on how to become more confident. We all have the resources we need; we just don’t always know how to access sequence and strengthen them. This is where a coach can help.

Next start with one situation where you would like to practice being more assertive in (or more confident). And ask yourself, what would it look like in this situation if I were being more assertive (or confident)? As you practice this new skill or resource, it is important to measure your success. How assertive were you 0-10? Are you getting closer to your goal?

It can also be valuable to tell others what you are trying to achieve, ask them to give you feedback on your new skills. Again, this is where a coach can help. Having an accountability partner is often what supports you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to practice these new skills.

I hope this has helped you get started in becoming more assertive, please feel free to reach out to us here at Modo if you would like a skilled coach to assist you on your journey.

About the Author Tamara Pickard

Tamara Pickard is an Executive Coach, Trainer and a Managing Director of Modo Coaching and Training, with many years of experience leading large organisations. Tamara is a certified Meta-Coach, Master NLP practitioner and experienced Enneagram facilitator, and her passion is to facilitate people to discover and actualise their highest potentials in their personal and professional lives.

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