Many people have a hard time asserting their ideas or emotions. They hide negative feelings (disappointment, frustration) or avoid conflicts. The result? Resentment and miscommunication.
Honesty is not only good for your health (you don’t want to spend the rest of your life biting back what you feel, right?) it can also make you more productive and efficient. Imagine what you could accomplish if you could delegate, correct mistakes, and tell others what you want and expect! Here are some life tips to help you do just that.
Use the DESC technique
The desc technique involves four steps: describe what happened, express your feelings, specifying what you want to happen, and describe the consequences.
For example, in a situation where a colleague is late for a meeting: “I am disappointed that you were 30 minutes late for our meeting. I wish you would call or text if you will be late. In this way, we don’t have to wait for you, and we can end our meeting after an hour.”
Have open, secure body language.
Assertive people stand upright in a relaxed manner, looking people calmly in the eyes and with open hands. Meanwhile, hunched shoulders and avoiding eye contact communicates passivity.
Practice being assertive.
Try role-playing with a friend to practice how you would deal with certain business situations and what you would say. Afterwards, ask your friend what he thinks and where you could make improvements. Think of the possible responses and switch roles to see the other person’s perspective.
Be yourself when negotiating, but be your best self.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be aggressive to be a good negotiator. You don’t have to yell or get in the other person’s face. Employ a negotiating style you’re comfortable with, say Lee and Jessica Miller, authors of A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating. It’s all right to be soft-spoken, but take strong positions. You can disagree politely and offer another point of view or alternative solution. This is called being ‘quietly firm.’
See win-win possibilities.
Almost everything is negotiable if you see it that way. Opportunities to negotiate exist in almost every interaction. Decide what’s worth negotiating. Realize that you don’t have to simply accept or reject an offer. You have the option to ask for something different.
Negotiate for yourself as if you were negotiating for someone else.
Think of what you would do and say on behalf of the other person whom you care about. This is how you may approach your own negotiation. Go through all the reasons why you deserve what you are requesting. Once you convince yourself, you can convince everyone else.
Don’t be uncomfortable highlighting your professional accomplishments. Keep a list of your accomplishments throughout the year. It will be useful during performance review. Keep notes or e-mails from pleased clients and colleagues, or even politely soliciting for their support in writing. If you’ve done a good job, the client will be happy to help out.
Read our other life tips on projecting the right image at work, from sounding professional at presentations to making a good impression at job fairs.
Photo from orlandoplasticsurgery.blogspot.com
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