life coach london

The power of assertiveness

An article by Lucy Seifert Life Coach London
Do you
 
  • Ever struggle to express your needs?                                                         
  • Feel guilty when you say 'no'?
  • Feel outwitted by manipulative people?
  • Wish to feel more confident in handling criticism?
  • Want to be assertive, instead of passive or aggressive?
You may choose to bring assertiveness and relationship issues into your coaching or opt for a structured assertiveness training programme, learning assertiveness principles, strategies and skills and practising applying them to real life issues that affect you. Fast track your assertiveness skills with 1-2-1 training to address your individual needs.


What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness is a powerful communication tool based in equality and respect for yourself and for others. Life Coaching will help you become more assertive and enable you to behave & communicate more confidently in your personal & professional relationships, aiming at win-win solutions & enhancing your self-esteem. "The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." (Anthony Robbins)
 

What are the four behaviours?

The first step towards greater assertiveness is increasing awareness of your current behaviours and how they impact on others. How passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive (indirect and manipulative) are you, or are you a mix? Do you already have some assertive qualities?

Assertiveness is based in the concept that you can ask others to change their behaviour, and some will change in response, but you can’t force them. The one behaviour you can definitely change, if you choose to, is your own. By using more confident language and body language, others are more likely to respond positively towards you. in contrast, aggression means demanding not asking, telling others what they should do and how they should be, rather than asking, listening and discussing assertively.
 

Five simple tips about asking assertively

  • Be clear about what you want before you ask for it
  • Avoid apologizing (eg saying "sorry to ask")
  • Be confident - don't use tentative phrases like "Could you possibly...?"
  • Keep it short, simple & to the point
  • Sound positive & expect to get "Yes" for an answer

Five simple things to avoid when you want to say "No"

Making excuses, such as "I'm meeting friends" when you're not - you may get found out
Saying "I don't mind" when you do mind - & giving a confusing message
Saying "Yes" because you feel bad about saying "No", then sabotaging & not doing what you agreed to
Saying "Yes" when you mean "No", then stressing all week about how to get out of it
Saying "No" at first, then retracting & saying "Yes", because you feel guilty

Assertiveness skills help you say "No" confidently, politely, respectfully and effectively
 
Being able to express feelings assertively, honestly & appropriately, helps your personal life & professional role too. 
Read my latest blog for more information & tips. 
 

Do I have the right to be assertive?

Assertiveness is underpinned by a Charter of Personal Rights to empower and encourage you to believe in your right to assert yourself. Here is the first of these rights: I have the right to be treated with respect as an equal human being whatever my perceived role or status in life. Other personal rights include your right to ask and your right to refuse, while also treating the other person with respect.
 

Seven steps to assertive listening

Great listening is essential to assertive communication and assertiveness is essential to good listening. It is first helpful to identify your blocks to good listening in order to stop the bad practices and introduce good practices. Here are seven of the steps towards assertive listening:
 
  • Give space for the person speaking to speak; be encouraging: “Tell me about..” or “I’m interested to hear …”
  • Use assertive body language to show you are listening: give eye contact, nod or shake your head, smile or look serious as reflects what they are saying
  • Listen for the feelings behind the content
  • If it’s not a good time for you to listen, say so and offer an alternative time, so you can give your full attention
  • Set time boundaries, saying when you are able to listen and for how long, so you both have clarity
  • If you don’t understand, be politely honest and say so without blaming, “I’m unclear – please can you repeat that” “Can you give me an example” “Can you spell that for me”
  • Summarise at the end to check for understanding and agree the way forward
These steps will help you become a better listener and more assertive communicator.
 

Benefits of Assertiveness Training with Lucy Seifert Life Coach London

I have worked extensively with staff in organisations in the public, private & voluntary sectors to enable individuals become more confident in their working lives.
By developing assertive skills in being clear, honest and succinct, listening to and empathising with others, acting with diplomacy & sensitivity yet standing your ground, you will be more able to address awkward situations both at work and at home. During your Life Coaching session we are able not only to explore the use of Assertiveness skills, but to focus on people and situations you wish to address, look at strategies and how to use assertiveness.

There are many potential benefits from assertiveness. You can expect to increase your confidence and communication to:
  • Ask for what  you want
  • Say no to what you don’t want
  • Distinguish between put down & criticism & respond effectively
  • Handle criticism of your behaviour or performance at work
  • Become an excellent listener, key to communication in general & to being assertive
  • Gain confidence to deal with others on an equal basis regardless of your respective roles
Developing assertiveness further will also help you:
  • Manage stress occasioned by difficult people and situations
  • Deal with difficult behaviour or underperformance in others
  • Become a better Time Manager
Assertiveness helps you prevent some difficulties arising in the first place and enables you to address those difficulties that do arise. It enables you to confront a range of difficult behaviours, whether passive or aggressive, from quiet and uncommunicative to devious and manipulative to loud and aggressive.

Assertiveness comprises a range of principles, behaviours, strategies & communication skills. Key skills include being specific & concise, empathy, self-disclosure & finding workable compromise. Trainers and coaches: for an in-depth guide to assertiveness, see my book "Training for Assertiveness"
 
"You showed me the way forward, Lucy. Thanks to your one-to-one sessions I have now a constructive, confident and kind approach to potential conflicts. My newly acquired skills in assertiveness have simplified and improved my life in a big way. I am very happy with the results and so is my husband now that we have the communication tools we needed to work on our relationship to our mutual satisfaction. I am very grateful. Thank you". London N8
 

North London Location

I offer Life Coaching and 1-2-1 Training to clients at my comfortable London office overlooking a tropical garden. The office is near Golders Green & Finchley in North London and is local to North West London including Barnet, Camden, Edgware, Finchley, Hampstead, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Harrow, Hendon, Highgate, Muswell Hill, Pinner, Southgate, Stanmore, St John's Wood and Swiss Cottage. I can also be easily reached from north, south, east and west London via the A406 North Circular Road, Finchley Road and A1000, which runs from Hertfordshire to Oxford Street. Accessible from Borehamwood, Elstree, Hadley, Hertford, Radlett, St. Albans (Hertfordshire).  I also offer Life Coaching and Executive Coaching on the telephone.
Contact me - Lucy Seifert Life Coach London - today on
Tel: 020 8922 3140
Mob: 07956 663151
Email: info@lucyseifertcoaching-training.co.uk