The Top Blocks to Assertiveness

After coaching thousands of entrepreneurs and employees, I’ve concluded that there are a number of factors that get in the way of becoming an assertive communicator. Among the top are a lack of self-awareness to discern that your communication style is a barrier to success, reluctance to ask for help, trouble asking for what you want, resistance to new ideas, and masking communication incompetence through text, email, or social media. Let’s look more closely at each.

Lack of Self-Awareness

As a part of my coaching services, I teach clients the art of negotiation. It doesn’t matter if you are a spouse, parent, employee, entrepreneur, manager, or friend—you are always negotiating. Negotiating is the process by which ideas and desires are shared with the intention of coming to a mutually satisfying agreement. When done properly with active, self-aware participants, both parties happily move for- ward, feeling valued and appreciated for who they are and the assets they bring to the relationship. This ideal situation happens when both parties understand assertive communication, but unfortunately, it is far from the norm.

Reluctance to Ask for Help

I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings, “Fake it until you make it” and “Act like you know.” They convey the message that it is better to pretend to know than to ask questions that expand your knowledge. This mind-set paralyzes your growth and leads to major mistakes, which can cause severe damage to your reputation and prospects for success. Not knowing how to do something is not a weakness. It takes a great sense of self to say, “This is a challenge. I need your help. Will you show me how to do this?”

Trouble Asking for What You Want

Nearly every client I’ve ever coached has been reluctant to express what they want in the negotiation process. For fear of being rejected or appearing greedy or needy, they downplay their real needs and desires and engage in an internal battle against their own sense of worthiness.

The reason for this internal struggle is a lack of confidence and clarity of their value in the relationship. They see the value of the other person as being greater. Whenever this happens, the other person will sense trepidation, and instead of continuing the interchange, will realize they have the upper hand and may use power-play language to move the conversation to a quick close.

Resistance to New Ideas

Making the decision to change isn’t enough. You have to be open to the process and exible in your thinking to bring about change. Wanting to change but being unwilling to consider alternate ways to get there can be quite challenging for some. For instance, my client Linda came to me with the expectation that I could help her expand her message and increase her income. She had what she believed to be a great idea that would help change the direction of health care. She was in search of a partnership with a major corporation.

Although I thought what she had to o er was of great value, my experience told me that her product was too risky and controversial for a company to take on. When I told her my perspective and o ered her di erent ways to reach her vision, she became o ended and decided to hire a di erent coach.

Nine months later, Linda called me and said, “After spinning my wheels for months and spending thousands of dollars, I need your help. I’d like to pursue one of the options you discussed with me previously.”

Masking Communication Incompetence

Rather than working on their conversational skills, many people avoid them entirely by resorting to electronic and other written communications. The reasons are varied: “I don’t like to sound like a salesperson, so I do my marketing by email”; “I don’t know how that person is going to respond, and I don’t want to be put on the spot, so I’ll communicate by text”; or “I want to present the best version of myself, and I can’t do that in person.” Text messages, emails, and social-media platforms are opportunities to escape the challenges of face-to-face dialogue.

Click the link to get your copy. 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want.  

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

Listening: The Best Strategy When Communicating With Difficult People

Yep! Some people are difficult to get along with. And it’s nerve-wreaking to try to communicate with them.

To mentally prepare for anything, you have to know what you’re preparing for. Most conversations are the result of something that has happened or needs to happen. Use this information to guide your thinking about the conversation. Remember, too, that you will likely be somewhat familiar with the background and communication style of the person involved in your conversation.

This knowledge makes preparation easier because, like football players who study videos of their opponents to develop strategies, you, too, will know what you can expect in terms of the person’s communication style.

I am not encouraging you to enter the conversation with preconceived notions about the person or what they will say. That is dangerous. Football players don’t review videos to make assumptions about the opposing team. They review videos to understand how the team thinks, operates, and performs. They use this information to devise their mental, emotional, and physical strategy to outplay their opponent.

By preparing in a similar manner for your conversations—taking time to con- sider the other person’s communication style, perspective, and possible expectations—you’ll prepare yourself to have the insight and stamina to be an assertive listener. Being an assertive listener means entering the conversation as the recipient. You are there to hear what is being said and to listen for what the speaker really wants and needs from you.

Always remember this: It may seem as though you’re in the position of power when you are talking, but that’s not true. You are in the position of power when you are listening. Listening is learning. When you are learning, you are adding to what you know about how the person thinks and feels and what that person wants to happen. When you are talking, you’re providing that information to them.

Click the link to get your copy. 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want.  

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

 

3 Reasons to Change Your Communication Style

YOU MAY BE thinking that your communication style is just part of who you are, but it is a skill learned like any other. You can change your style when you learn new skills, but you may be reluctant to make the effort. Let me give you three simple reasons to change:

1. Your relationships depend on it,

2. Your career success relies on it

3. Your lifelong happiness is de ned by it.

Does that help you rethink your resistance to change?

I know that change can be challenging, frustrating, and even risky at times. But stop for a moment and think about a time when you resisted change. What happened? Things around you changed anyway, didn’t they? Then you followed suit only to realize that if you had made the change, you would have been ahead of the game. And that’s what you want—to get ahead by knowing how to effectively communicate your way through any situation. There are few things that I can say with certainty in life, and this is one of them: You will gain command over your life as a result of assertively communicating.

Click the link to get your copy. 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want.  

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

 

Your Communication Style: What You Don’t Know Could Be Hindering Your Success

Chances are, you’ve seen, heard, and experienced all these styles in your interactions with others. Your usual style will likely fall into one of these categories, though it may change depending upon the situation.

Where do you fit?

Passive communicators have an established pattern of deliberately avoiding conflict by withholding their opinions, feelings, and ideas from others. Because they fail to set well-de ned boundaries, their rights are often violated. Passive communicators feel fearful, helpless, and invisible because they ignore their own needs while giving others permission to impose their will on them.

Aggressive communicators can appear to others as selfish, immature, and impulsive. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they may attack and blame others for the situation. They tend to have a low threshold for listening, triggering repeated interruptions while others are talking.

Passive-aggressive communicators are a combination of the passive communicator, who refuses to address problems, and the aggressive communicator, who lashes out. The difference between the aggressive communicator and the passive-aggressive communicator is that the passive-aggressive communicator’s behavior is unexpected. They appear to be cooperative, but their real agenda is vastly different.

Assertive communicators consciously enter into an unspoken agreement for the purpose of exchanging opinions, thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This joint agreement comes with an understanding that there are indisputable rights and privileges for the individuals who decide to participate in conversation.

These rights and privileges establish a collaborative expectation that sets the stage for a meaningful and successful exchange. This does not mean that every exchange will end in harmony. Most often the target is agreement, but the key is to maintain the overall health of the relationship even if the conversation begins to get chaotic and ends in disagreement.

Do you want to improve your relationships, position yourself for a promotion or speak up for yourself?

Click the link to get your copy. 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want.  

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

 

Break Through the Silence & Confidently Speak Up

IT HAPPENED AGAIN. You wanted to stand up for yourself but didn’t. You had rehearsed your response and knew exactly what you were going to say. You even knew how you were going to say it. But when the time came, your heart started beating rapidly, your hands got clammy, and when you tried to speak, you couldn’t form the words.

I’m S. Renee, and for years, I quietly existed in that frustrating world, a world where I felt dishonored and often disrespected, but mostly invisible. After developing invaluable communication tools, techniques, and clear strategies, I became con dent and competent in my communication skills and how to use them. The impact of changing how I communicate has been so rewarding that I developed a passion for helping others do the same.

Since 2005, as a self-esteem, branding, and communication expert and coach, I have helped hundreds of thousands of people stand in their power and speak up for themselves in the classroom, boardroom, dining room, bedroom, and elsewhere.

I teach my communication method at colleges and universities, corporations, state and government agencies, and nonpro ts. Through presentations and coach- ing people of various ages, walks of life, and income levels, I have helped others gain assurance in the value of what they have to say and gain the con dence to say it.

Assertive communication isn’t just about standing up for yourself. Nor is it solely about overcoming the hesitation to share your ideas for fear of rejection. It isn’t even limited to learning how to muster up the courage to be honest with your spouse, family, or friends. Assertive communication is learning how to say what you want to say in a way that evokes a desire in another person to want to listen to you. It’s about being viewed as credible by your family, friends, teammates, colleagues, boss, and anyone else whose attention you are trying to get.

Here are the five steps outlined in my new book, 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate With Confidence and Get What You You. It is already  bestseller on Kindle.

1.  Know Your Starting Point. Know exactly where you are in the communication experience and identify your specific communication style.

2. Listen Assertively. Listen to what is being said without filters.

3. Communicate Without Words. Effectively use your body language.

4. Speak Up. Say what you want to say in a way that it will be heard.

5. Face Feedback. Courageously face what others have to say. Some of the information received will be helpful while other will be worthless.

5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want.  Click the link to get your copy.

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

 

Letting Go of Failed Performances

I know it can be hard to stop the tape playing over in your mind. What happened, how it happened and what you wish didn’t happened. But remember, people understand making mistakes. In fact, it is likely that you are thinking about it more than anyone else.

When you require yourself to hit the bull’s-eye every time, you create a false expectation of yourself and others. Subsequently, you probably find it difficult to accept your mistakes and forgive others for theirs. The greater shame is that you miss the good fortune of the mistake — the lesson. Plus, you set the conditions for yourself to have to repeat it again.

Letting go requires three steps:

1. Acknowledge responsibility.

Without shame or guilt, take responsibility for the mistake.

2. Look for and learn the lesson.

You subconsciously created the lesson. Understand what you were to learn.

3. Share what you learned with someone else.

By sharing the lesson with someone else, you replace your feelings of disappointment with feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to help someone else. This is how you mature. Additionally, when you share the lesson, it works as therapy for you in that it releases its power over you.

By the way, don’t let imperfect people hold you to a perfect standard.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith

 

Missed Goals…The Best Opportunity for Success

And the winner is . . .

Have you ever wondered what determines who takes home the trophy? Who gets the promotion? Who lands the contract?

Is there something that losers fail to do that gives their opposition an advantage? Or is it something winners do that gives them an edge?

When it comes to reaching a goal, all things may appear equal, but they never are. People who experience success believe in themselves, develop the right attitude, and refuse to take no for an answer. People who experience the success they want and beyond do those things and more.

What is the “more.” Intentional success comes through the clarity of your mind, the understanding of your heart, and knowing the endurance of your body. If you want to be like a well-trained athlete who listens, learns, and follows the instructions of his coach to get the results he wants, then you must weigh the following:

1. The purpose of setting a goal is to keep you focused and to determine whether you’re creating what you say you want. Because goals only take into account raw data called outcomes, we as self-development experts don’t believe the achievement or lack of achievement of a goal is the complete picture of success.

The journey to achieving your goal can significantly enrich your life — increasing your confidence and introducing you to phenomenal things about yourself. This philosophy doesn’t negate the importance of goals; it only seeks to ensure that you don’t believe your self-worth is contingent on a projected outcome, because it isn’t.

2. Many factors influence the achievement of a goal. For the most part, achieving your goals depends on you. But when and how you achieve your goals can be influenced by external factors.

For example, most Olympians train from the time they’re 5 or 6 years old. Each athlete is well trained by a top coach. Each has pushed himself beyond his limits. Each has prepared himself to win. Each has set the goal to take home the gold — but only one will.

The reality of setting goals is that you will face defeat. The purpose of defeat is not to hurt or stop you or cause you to give up. It’s simply to offer you the lessons you need to sustain you when you reach your goal. Here’s how to deal with fail goals:

Try again. Believing in something when there isn’t any evidence that it’s likely to happen can be difficult, but your willingness to persevere and keep trying is the force that manifests it into reality.

Find an alternative. There’s more than one way to reach any goal — be creative. See the nearby sidebar, “Before they die,” for an example.

Improve your abilities. Some goals aren’t reached because you’re not ready. Keep practicing, improving, and building your skills.

Evaluate your focus, desires, and drive. Some goals require more than you expect. Make sure you’re giving it all you have and that you have the fortitude to go the distance.

Accept that it’s not meant to be. Positive thinking, affirmations, and practice won’t help you became a brain surgeon unless you are gifted in math and science and have an educational foundation that will support you. Although anything is possible, everything isn’t always practical.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright. All rights reserved. 2018 S. Renee Smith.

Feeling Devalued Means You Don’t Fully Understand Branding

“Any questions?” I asked. I had just concluded a 90-minute workshop on personal branding. The questions started pouring in when suddenly, everyone fell silent as we heard these words:

“Why can’t I get the promotion? I’m a great worker. I arrive early and stay late. I ace special projects, and I’m often praised for my work performance.” Pausing, he continued, “I shut my mouth, do my job, and go home.”

Do you ever feel that way — devalued?

Personal branding, in theory, is very similar to product branding. Products have a purpose. They have specific characteristics that make them appealing. They solve problems for targeted markets, which are also called audiences. When they bring the anticipated value, a buzz is created and demand increases.

Keep the following points in mind about branding:

1. Your brand is not identical to your reputation. When a group of people is asked the question: “Do you have a brand?” typically, the majority respond, “No.” The next question is, “Is your brand your reputation?” Most say, “Yes.” That’s partially correct. Reputation emphasizes your character. Your brand is your reputation and what people expect to get from what you do.

Here’s the difference. “He’s a good, honest businessman” is an example of reputation. “He’s a good, honest business man who sells quality, well-priced used cars to middle-class families” exemplifies a brand.

2. Image and branding are different. Many people are also under the impression that their image is their brand. Your image is the perception that people have of you as a result of seeing and/or having minor interactions with you. Your image is an opinion without any real understanding of who you are or what you do.  Your brand is a result of others having direct contact with you or a testimony from a reputable resource who has had an experience with you. Your brand has an image component, but your image doesn’t have a brand component.

3. People are clear about your brand, even if you aren’t. As mentioned, most people don’t believe they have a brand. Nor have they given much thought to personal branding. Although you may not know the value you bring to your business and personal relationships, that doesn’t mean the people you interact with haven’t calculated the value you bring to their lives. What they know about you is the barometer they use to determine which promotions, assignments, and invitations are extended to you.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright. All rights reserved. 2018 S. Renee Smith.