A simple trick I picked up on assertiveness training was the importance to be open and honest with thoughts.
You might feel uncomfortable not saying what you want as you perceive, what you will say is not popular with the room.
Yet quite often, this is nothing but fear, actually everyone else in the room has a similar thought but is too afraid to actually say anything.
A really good example happened when I attended an assertiveness course.
When the trainer set the schedule for the day she proposed to the class:
“Is everyone okay if we have an hour for lunch – this will give you time for a long break and do some shopping in the city…”
The room sat in silence – as the purpose of the training was assertiveness the attendees weren’t skilled in expressing their opinion, especially to a room full of strangers.
Admittedly, I was sat there thinking how much I’d rather have a shorter lunch break so I could get home earlier.
The stillness of my classmates made me assume everyone was happy with this arrangement, so I didn’t say anything.
Then a lady rather meekly opened up
“Actually… I’d much rather we just had half an hour so I can get home”
The room murmured in agreement and the trainer happily obliged with the request while pointing out the lesson in assertiveness to the class – by not expressing our opinion we are missing out on getting what we want.
A Lesson in Assertiveness…
Not one person in the room wanted to have a later finish, yet nearly all of us were prepared to sit quietly and inconvenience ourselves because we thought it was what everyone else wanted.
If there is one key lesson to learn, when it comes to a proposition it is worthwhile expressing your needs as it actually may be an offering that suits all impacted parties.
Want more assertiveness content? try Assert Yourself! How to Not Be a Pushover When You Don’t Want to Do Something
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