Everyone struggles with assertiveness skills at one time or another. You may struggle in professional settings or with personal family and friends. Sometimes, it’s difficult to stand up for yourself, or say “No” to a commitment you know will overload your schedule for fear of rejection or gaining a reputation of not being able to handle what you perceive is required of you!
You may appear cool and calm on the outside, but on the inside you may really feel like you want to fight or flee. Did you know that this is a natural response of the human body? This response goes way back to the times of the cavemen where literally their lives depended on the quick decision of an approaching person or animal as a friend or foe. When stressed the body naturally produces adrenaline, your body may tense up, you begin to perspire, and/or you may grit your teeth etc. This is natural and it happens to everyone at one point or another. The opposite response is to flee. Again, when the cavemen perceived danger and decided to flee, they were not concerned with coming to common ground or talking out differences with the perceived threat. They just knew their life at that moment in time depended on the ability to get away and FAST. This still happens today. You may not physically run from what you perceive as a threat, but your mind is running a hundred miles an hour trying to figure out how to escape. So you see, it is a natural response to fight or flee, but the better reaction is to be assertive.
When you are assertive, you maintain an appropriate balance between passivity and aggression. This type of response communicates fairness and equality based on self-confidence and a positive sense of respect for yourself and others. This is one of the most critical communication skills that can make or break your career and family relationships. It’s ranked right up there with conflict resolution!
Learn More/Register for our upcoming course on Assertive Skills on October 10th, 2014.