Assertiveness is a key communication skill and once perfected, it can really propel your career. Being assertive in meetings, catch ups and even in everyday life, doesn’t mean being aggressive and overbearing in the way you express yourself, it requires careful articulation of your opinions and ideas.
Below are some key pointers on how to get your voice heard!
Shouting the loudest is NOT the best!
Over the years I’ve come across many people in meetings who believe the louder they speak the more they’ll be heard and the more their opinions will be listened to. This method will get you heard, however, shouting won’t allow you to articulate your thoughts and opinions in the best way and for the more timid individuals, it makes for a very intimidating environment.
Assertiveness uses a range of communication styles which allows you to be able to contribute in different situations in a more disciplined way, whether in a work meeting, an interview or even in your own home/personal life.
Think about those situations that you’ve been in where you’ve retreated into the background, not been able to get your point across or been over talked by those around you speaking louder or ‘holding court’. Frustrating isn’t it? It’s easy to retreat when this is happening but it may just be time to stand up and start having your voice and your opinions heard.
How to get your voice heard
It’s time to step outside your comfort zone and try different methods of assertive communication:
Get involved - whether it’s a discussion about a specific topic or just a general conversation, don’t stay quiet.
If you’re in a meeting, try having a buddy – someone who will back you.
Don’t just agree with everything other people say - if you have an idea or a thought, share it.
Prepare for the meeting or conversation; what do you want to say and what outcome are you trying to achieve?
Hold your head up high – you’ve nothing to be afraid of.
Give yourself a little pep talk before the meeting/conversation.
Project your voice – make sure you’re being heard without shouting.
Lower your voice and slow down – people will pay attention!
Don’t use the word ‘but’ - this undermines everything you may have said beforehand.
Try using PEP (point/explanation/point) – make your point – explain 3 different reasons for your point – make your point again.
And remember; if this is completely new - ask for help from those around you.
For some more pointers on assertive communication, please check out the video below.
Ambition previously ran an event for a number of our clients hosted by award-winning speaker, coach and author Jenny Garrett. The event covered assertive communication and how to have your voice heard in the workforce. It was a great evening with lots of interaction and plenty of pointers to take away and use, not only in the workplace but also in everyday life.
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