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Not knowing how to act in a certain situation, and not knowing what the likely outcome will be as a result can certainly cause you to feel anxious. For instance, you head to your boss’ office for your yearly performance review, and you feel a knot forming in your stomach. Or you are having a discussion at a family dinner, the conversation turns contentious, and you become tongue-tied. Or you walk onstage to give a speech and your heart starts uttering and your hands get clammy.
We all have moments when we worry about the outcome of an event. It is unsettling when you’re uncertain about the future, or when a negative situation escalates. Whether the threat is a failed performance, a tongue-lashing, or a fault- nding critique, the anxiety exists because you believe that danger is lurking, which makes you feel unsafe and in need of protection. This feeling of helplessness may cause you to want to escape rather than boldly face the challenge. This reaction is disempowering.
Disempowerment is a result of you telling yourself that you are not equipped to properly handle the situation. You need to assert to yourself that you are the authority over your life. When you practice being assertive, you begin to expect your rights in the communication agreement to be honored.
Maybe you won’t get a good performance review; that’s okay, because you will assertively state your position to your boss, and you will leave the review with the feeling of being heard. Not every person you interact with will like or understand you. In fact, you may have to get up from the dinner table to opt out of taking part in a heated debate. But know this: Empowering yourself with assertive communication skills assures you that you have the capacity to courageously face any challenge with clarity and determination, thereby reducing the anxiety that arises from uncertainty.
5 Steps to Assertiveness
1. Know Your Starting Point: You have to know where you stand in the communication experience. Do you speak up for yourself? Do you often walk away from conversations wishing for what you would have liked to have happened?
2. Listen Assertively. Listen to what’s being said without judging it and funneling it through your issues.
3. Communicate Assertively Without Words. Body language is a very effective resource so use it.
4. Speak Up. Say what you want to say in a way that honors and respects yourself and others.
5. Face Feedback. You can’t critique yourself so let others help you get to where you want to go.
This is an excerpt from my book, 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want. Click the link to order now.
Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.