How to Be More Assertive

How to Be More Assertive

How to Be More Assertive


– What exactly is assertiveness?

– How to develop your assertiveness?

Interpersonal relationships are made up of exchanges and, for them to be harmonious, it is sometimes necessary to choose assertiveness to express oneself and assert oneself while respecting the opinions of others.

This behaviour allows us to use non-violent communication and to avoid any form of conflict. It also allows us to assert ourselves in front of others, whether in our private or professional lives.

In this post, we will look at assertiveness and how to develop assertive behaviour?

What exactly is assertiveness?

Assertiveness means knowing how to assert yourself without being aggressive. It is a term based on the English word “assertiveness,” which comes from the verb “to assert,” which means: to defend one’s rights, one’s opinions.

In fact, in the word “assertiveness”, there is the “do” but also the “how”. To the question: “How do you defend your ideas and your rights?” the assertive person will always answer “firmly but gently and with respect for the rights of others”.

Indeed, for some people, “asserting themselves” can only be done by raising their voice when someone disagrees with them. This is not assertive behaviour. Assertive person wants to assert themselves, but they know how to manage their emotions and use language that is OK with the other person.

The operating principle of assertiveness

Very much used in social psychology, management and coaching, assertiveness is a “communication tool” that goes in the same direction as neuro-linguistic programming

 or transactional analysis (we will come back to this in our subsequent publications).

Not only does it allow for effective communication, but it also alleviates subjects that are a priori conflictual.

How to develop assertiveness?

How to Be More Assertive

When you have to ask someone something, the first rule of assertiveness is: Who, When, Where and How?

It is, therefore, a question of:

– Choose the right person: it is the who? There is no point in asking someone who is not the final decision-maker.

◦ For example, you disagree with your manager on how he conducts meetings (too much time wasted, digressions on topics discussed, etc.) and think you all waste too much time compared to other tasks at hand. Make this clear to your manager. There is no need to tell the other people in the meeting if they have no power to change anything.

– Choosing the right time: this is the when?

◦ Let’s take the example within a couple this time since assertiveness also works wonders in the male-female relationship. You want to ask your wife to be a little more responsive to your professional concerns because you want to share your ideas with her. Not only will you choose the way to talk about it, but you certainly won’t tell her when she is worried because the older of your two kids have caught a disease.

– Choosing the right place: this is the where?

◦ For example: walking your boss to the parking lot and using that moment to ask for a raise is not very wise. Better to ask him for a meeting or choose a time when he is less in a hurry.

– Choosing the content of the message: the how?

Let’s remember once again that assertive behaviour is the one that will allow two parties to find common ground. No one should be harmed: assertiveness is between submission and aggression.

Empathy is a valuable aid in assertive behaviour. In the same way, the person who knows how to manage his emotions and knows the basics of non-violent communication (NVC) will be more predisposed to this type of behaviour.