March is known for weather that comes in 'like a Lion" and offers us a stance that is powerful and effective: Assertiveness! It's all about language and rights and responsibilities—and can easily be learned.
First, you begin with self-respect. Identify what you want, what to ask for, and what you'd like to express to others.Here's a model for how to ask for what you want to happen differently (based on the work of Thomas Gordon (1970) :I-Language Assertion involves a 4-part statement:
- When… (Speaker objectively describes the other person's behavior)
- The effects are… (Speaker describes how the other person's behavior concretely effects her/his life or feelings)
- I feel… (Speaker describes feelings)
- I'd prefer… (Speaker describes what she/he wants) Be specific!
Example: "When I'm constantly interrupted, I lose my train of thought and begin to feel that my ideas aren't important to you. I start feeling hurt and angry. I'd like you to make a point of waiting until I'm finished speaking."
This final request gives the receiver an opportunity to change with clear information and direction. There is no guarantee that the receiver will agree–however; without stating what you want–you lessen your chances of getting your needs met. The words 'yes' or 'no' are also powerful assertions—and do not need explanations attached. You are simply expressing your choice freely without apology or permission.
Need help to develop your Assertiveness? Have questions you'd like me to address in my Blog? Come roar with me!