Essay On Assertiveness

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What Is Assertiveness ?

Simply put, it is the ability to express one’s feelings, thoughts, beliefs, needs and rights in an honest, appropriate and direct way. There is a proviso to this: it requires that we also respect the rights and views of others in the process of fulfilling our needs.

Assertiveness requires us to develop our communication skills and behaviour in order to:

• Successfully present and interact with an audience. In product and service demonstrations, in marketing or briefing situations which require decisions, assertiveness contributes to persuasiveness and a favourable outcome.

• Enable a person (in one-on-one communication) or an audience (one- to-group) to feel comfortable in your presence.

• Confidently handle conflict
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We will not accept the fact that we can and need to raise our level of assertiveness. So we make excuses like “I’m doing ok as I am right now, so why should I bother” or “I’m not aggressive - let the aggressive types change. I don’t need to.”

• Fear Of Relationship Break-Down.

Perhaps we think our assertiveness may make others feel uncomfortable. We fear to appear demanding, insistent or rigid. We think people will distance themselves from us, that communication will be minimal and cause our relationships to suffer. These fears are unfounded and need to be challenged!

• Lack Of Confidence.

Again unfounded, but some just do not see themselves as being capable of assertive behaviour. They lack the confidence, the all-important belief in self to spur them to change for the better. As a result of not recognizing the need for assertiveness, they fail to grow. They remain the submissive or aggressive person and have to face the effects of this behaviour on those around them.

In the many courses on Effective Speaking and Presentation Skills conducted by ITD World both locally and in the ASEAN Region, we have found that a common cause of participants’ inability to speak well before an audience is their lack of confidence. This is evident in their non- verbal behaviour and the lack of assertiveness in the way they

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