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.

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.

 

What Are Some of the Common Barriers to Effective Communication?

It is my experience and opinion that there is a core barrier to communication that creates every other barrier, they are called pain spots. Pain spots are emotions that are often connected to shame, guilt or fear. When a person is unsure about another person’s intention, perception and response to them, they will conceal their feelings for fear of exposing their weaknesses and becoming too vulnerable. When this happens, an authentic conversation is impossible because the person doesn’t feel safe.

In order for communication to be effective each person engaged in the conversation has to feel safe. They have to trust that you will hear and respond to them with respect and compassion.

Here are 3 tips to help you move beyond barriers to a more effective and healthier relationship through communication:

1.  Pay Attention: listen attentively and watch carefully to how the person is communicating. This will let you know if they feel safe and how to create a safe space for them to share their feelings with you.

2. Identify and Work Toward Common Goals: Never ignore “the elephant in the room.” To pretend that something isn’t wrong when you know that it is only confirms that you and the other person have an inauthentic, unsafe relationship.

3. Trust the Process of Communication: Communication works when you are open, honest and compassionate. Most people are reasonable and will appreciate your attempt to hear and understand them. In most cases, they will mirror your sincere attempt to improve the relationship.

S. Renee is the author of 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate With Confidence and Get What You Want (Callisto Media, May 2018)

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith.