Assertiveness is the ability to express our feelings, sensations, thoughts, opinions, convictions and preferences freely, openly and directly regardless of pressure coming from our environment, in an honest and appropriate way which remains respectful for ourselves and others.
Self-assertiveness is an important attitude in a professional behavior. It allows us to express ourselves in various situations, to demonstrate the confidence we have in our ability to deal with the situation, while being respectful and establishing trust and credibility. The objective is to not generate anxiety and stress for you while avoiding creating it to others, with the concern of increasing your effectiveness in the exchange.
Adopting an assertive behavior is taking the place we deserve; it’s knowing our rights, needs and interests and to make them count. It’s also being able to show feelings, while knowing how to control them.
The mastering and externalizing of our feelings and needs is an essential step towards the defense of our rights and therefore towards self-assertiveness.
In general, assertive individuals:
- Obtain “win-win” result with more ease – they see their interlocutor’s value and his position and can quickly find common ground.
- Know how to solve problems better – they feel capable to do what they can to find the best solution.
- Are less stressed – they know that they possess personal power and do not feel threatened or victimized when things do not go as planned or expected.
- Are action people – they make things go forward because they know they can.
Assertiveness is a fundamental ability in reaching our goals and “win-win” results. It can increase effectiveness and productivity within an organization by allowing greater autonomy and greater control over daily activities.
To be assertive, one must know his own thoughts and feelings in a way which clearly indicates his needs, without digression or curve, but with consideration for others while maintaining an open communication in order to develop positive professional relationships.
When you assert yourself, you act in a just and empathetic manner. The power you use comes from your self-confidence and not from intimidation or harassment. When you deal with others fairly and respectfully, you get the same treatment back. You are appreciated and people see you as a leader and someone with whom they like to work.
Assertiveness can be learned and developed. By practicing techniques presented here, you become more and more confident in expressing your needs and desires – even if it won’t happen overnight. As your assertiveness improves, productivity and effectiveness will follow. Start today and you’ll see how asserting yourself allows you to work with people to accomplish tasks, solve problems and find solutions.
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Ville de Québec
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Xavier Aymé, Chef des opérations | Mercator Canada Inc.
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