Learn how to enhance your assertiveness


00:00:00: Introduction
00:02:20: Why it is essential to be assertive in your careers
Assertiveness outlined and discovering steadiness
Discover your “even higher if…”
00:11:20: When assertiveness turns into aggression
00:13:44: Examples of useful assertiveness
Coach-yourself questions
Concepts for motion… 1: adapting your communication
… 2: being ready to react utilizing “if… then”
00:36:33: … 3: making ready and sharing your factors of view
Remaining ideas

Sarah Ellis: Hello, I am Sarah.

Helen Tupper: And I am Helen.

Sarah Ellis: And this can be a Squiggly Careers podcast, the place each week we speak about a unique subject to do with work, which we hope will make it easier to to have a bit extra confidence, readability and management in your Squiggly Profession.  There at the moment are greater than 270 episodes of the podcast.  Who knew?

Helen Tupper: 276, Sarah, to be exact.

Sarah Ellis: To be actual!  And that sounds overwhelming, I believe, fairly than a great factor!  I really feel like we’re attempting to say that as a great factor, all these superb episodes, nevertheless it simply feels like lots.

Helen Tupper: There are that many points with careers that you simply want that many episodes of a podcast that can assist you!

Sarah Ellis: However if you’re attempting to search for some free sources, if you happen to go onto amazingif.com, and also you search for our Toolkit, we do have our high ten episodes, and we’ve PodSheets for every of these episodes, which summarises issues just like the concepts for motion and the coach-yourself questions.  We even have a podcast web page on our web site the place, once more, you possibly can search by some key phrases, and we have tried to place some podcasts collectively simply that can assist you get began, or if you happen to’ve received a specific want or a query in thoughts and also you need to see if you could find a podcast that can assist you with it.

Helen Tupper: And if you cannot discover the hyperlinks to that stuff, we’ll put all of it within the present notes for you as effectively, and you may all the time e mail us.  We’re simply helen&sarah@squigglycareers.com.  And likewise, Sarah, welcome again, since you weren’t right here final week, the place we you?  You were not with me speaking about Squiggly Careers, you had been…?

Sarah Ellis: No, I used to be on vacation with my companion and my 5-year-old on the seaside discovering crabs.  That was the principle exercise for the vacation.

Helen Tupper: What Easter enjoyable!  Properly truly, it was fairly sunny.

Sarah Ellis: It was, it was good.

Helen Tupper: Crabs, sunshine and household, it is not unhealthy.  However sure, I used to be right here with Pritesh and if you have not listened to that episode, we had been speaking in regards to the position of neighborhood in careers.  And on the finish of that podcast, Pritesh shared his poem all about Squiggly Careers, which he had shared with us beforehand.  We had been like, “How will we get this out into the world?” so we put it out on the podcast.  So, if you happen to’ve not listened to that, truly you possibly can observe us on LinkedIn, as a result of we shared it on LinkedIn, the video, or you possibly can take heed to the podcast from final week.

So right this moment, we’re speaking about assertiveness, and the explanation we needed to speak about assertiveness was, we had been truly fairly shocked we’ve not lined it earlier than as a subject in careers, as a result of it undoubtedly comes up within the suggestions individuals get about, “It could be useful if you happen to had been extra assertive”.  However truly, it feels that as a talent in careers, it is turning into extra essential than ever, so let’s speak about why that’s.

The very first thing is the context for careers, which is that they’re Squiggly, so they’re filled with change, but additionally there may be a number of alternative to personalise your development.  One of many largest advantages of Squiggly Careers is that success and squiggliness is as particular person as we’re.  However having the arrogance to have the conversations that you want to have about you and your improvement, in an effort to profit from that individuality, implies that you do have to be assertive about what’s essential to you and why, in an effort to get the issues that you simply want.

Additionally, we had been considering a bit about the best way that individuals are working now, so work is, for lots of people, turning into more and more hybrid, so you have received a bit extra selection about how your working week may give you the results you want, what number of days you are within the workplace, the place you are working maybe.  However if you wish to use this chance to design the work that works for you, once more you want to be fairly assertive about this within the conversations that you simply’re having, or you would simply default into what another person thinks it’s best to do, or into what could be working effectively for them. 

However I do assume this can be a actually fascinating second in time for you to consider, “How do I craft my position or my profession round what works greatest for me?”

Sarah Ellis: So, what we will speak about is, what assertiveness is and what it is not, and we will share just a few examples of the place being assertive has helped us, and hindered us after we’ve not received it proper in our careers, simply to share just a few tales.  We’ll do this fairly briefly, as a result of we actually need to give attention to the concepts for motion by way of rising your assertiveness.

One of many issues that we each seen, and we have accomplished numerous studying round assertiveness, learn numerous articles, as we all the time attempt to do to organize for these podcasts, is there are many descriptions about assertiveness, what it’s and what it appears to be like like, however not that many sensible concepts for motion at easy methods to get higher at that talent.  And I believe it’s a talent, so it’s one thing that we are able to practise and enhance. 

However many of the focus is extra simply speaking about assertiveness, and I used to be virtually getting a bit pissed off as I used to be doing a few of the analysis and going, okay, effectively there’s a number of frequent themes round assertiveness, however if you happen to’ve had that suggestions, I believe you possibly can find yourself feeling fairly pissed off, as a result of it might really feel like a kind of areas, a bit like gravitas is an identical one, gravitas or assertiveness, the place you need some assist with, “Properly, what might I do, what motion might I take, that will assist to extend my assertiveness?”  So, we have got three concepts for motion that we’ll share, however we’re simply going to start out rapidly by speaking a bit about what it’s and what it is not, and just a few examples to deliver it to life.

So, the definition that we discovered that we linked with probably the most, and felt fairly easy and simple is that, assertiveness is the power to face up for what you imagine, whereas being calm and optimistic, and likewise respecting the rights of others.  And I believe that “and” is admittedly essential.  So, it’s about being clear about what you imagine in, what you need to stand for, and doing that in a means the place you’ve gotten confidence and readability; however that does not imply that you do not take heed to different individuals, and that you simply’re not ready to alter your thoughts or to alter your opinion if you happen to assume, “Oh, that is actually legitimate”.  That does not cease you being assertive, you do not lose your assertiveness if you take heed to different individuals, or if you’re open to different individuals’s views.

Helen Tupper: This concept of steadiness, balancing what you may want, but additionally being open to listening to what the affect of that could be on different individuals, this concept of steadiness truly is a part of a mannequin that we actually like by Thomas Anthony Harris, and we’ll put this on the PodSheet as effectively.  It is referred to as the “I am OK – You are OK” mannequin, which is an fascinating one, nevertheless it takes this concept of steadiness and it says, assertiveness is about I am okay and also you’re okay.  So, we’re not attempting to compete, I am not attempting to be higher than you, I am listening to what’s essential to you, I am holding on to what’s essential to me, so I am okay, you are okay.  That concept of steadiness is assertive. 

Whereas, once I’m okay, so I am getting what I would like, however in the end you are not okay, as a result of I am not listening to you, I am not attempting to adapt or perceive the place you are coming from, the chance there may be it is imbalanced and it is also turning into fairly aggressive.  So, if I simply say to Sarah, “Properly, the factor that I would like, Sarah, is to earn a living from home, Monday to Friday, and that is what I need to do”, and Sarah’s attempting to go, “Properly truly, it will be nice if we might spend in the future every week collectively, as a result of that is the place our concepts occur”, and I am mainly simply not listening, on no account am I letting Sarah’s perspective into the dialog, then that is not balanced and it’s far more of an aggressive means of working.  I am more likely to make Sarah fairly defensive or demotivated, or simply not significantly need to work with me.  So, that is an imbalanced response.

The opposite one is the place Sarah’s okay, so Sarah’s getting the whole lot that Sarah needs, however I am not okay.  So, perhaps I am compromising the issues which might be essential to me, as a result of I am simply doing what Sarah thinks that we must always do.  The chance there may be you get fairly passive.  So, I am simply going, “Okay, effectively I am going to simply do it your means, okay”, or I simply need to make Sarah joyful, I care about Sarah, and I am placing her priorities earlier than my very own.  In order that once more is imbalanced and I am turning into fairly passive.

The opposite one is if you’re each not okay.  So, Sarah’s not okay, I am not working in a means that works for Sarah; and I am not okay, I am not working in a means that works for me.  The chance right here, the imbalance right here, is it turns into passive-aggressive.  So, within the second I am going, “Properly, we’ll simply discover a means by means of, will not we?  We’ll simply discover a means by means of”, and out of the second I am going, “Oh, Sarah makes this so troublesome on a regular basis, as a result of we’ve not actually received to an consequence, I am not significantly joyful”, I am probably having facet conversations with different individuals about issues that I ought to have talked about within the second with Sarah.

So, this concept of steadiness is admittedly essential, and what we’re attempting to get to is a spot the place you are okay, what’s essential to you, and also you’re in a position to have that dialog; however you are additionally in a position to hear and recognise and reply to what’s essential to different individuals too.

Sarah Ellis: And I believe it is useful to make that mannequin helpful for you, to consider to start with, the place do you already do a great job of being assertive, as a result of there might be sure conditions, examples, a few of the work that you simply do, the place you’re feeling such as you do a great job of being assertive and you do not keep in a single field the entire time, if that is sensible?  So, you’ll spend time somewhere else in all probability, relying on the scenario or what’s taking place.

So to start with, discover the place you already do that effectively and what helps you to try this; after which, take into consideration what’s your “even higher if…”, so both what’s a scenario the place you need to extend your assertiveness, or usually the place do you’re feeling like your assertiveness strikes to both being passive or aggressive or passive-aggressive, are there some examples the place you assume, “It is usually when… that I really feel like I lose my assertiveness, and that will get changed with a extra unhelpful behaviour that in all probability is not supporting me to do a great job”.

So I used to be considering, for me for instance, I believe my “even higher if…” could be once I discover individuals intimidating simply usually, once I discover individuals intimidating for no matter motive, perhaps as a result of they’re good at one thing that I am not, or perhaps they simply have a really totally different type to me, I lose my assertiveness and turn into extra passive.  So, that is usually what occurs in that scenario.  What would your “even higher if…” be, Helen?

Helen Tupper: Mine could be seniority particularly, so intimidating, however mine is extra particularly about senior individuals once I assume, “Perhaps I am going to simply go together with what they need”.  In that scenario, I can see that in that company life once I’ve been in these conditions.  However I believe additionally typically, I turn into much less assertive once I’m a bit bored, as a result of then I simply sort of go —

Sarah Ellis: So, I am going to discover that, I am going to simply be like, “Oh, that is suggestions, she’s clearly a bit bored”!

Helen Tupper: So, to illustrate I am in a gathering and I would begin off with numerous power.  After which, if I really feel like a dialog’s going spherical and spherical in circles, I believe I can typically fall a bit into mounted mindset and go, “Oh my gosh, we have been right here earlier than”, after which I am going, “I can not be bothered to be assertive”, as a result of I believe it does take power to be assertive, to have that readability about what’s essential to you after which talk it with confidence.  That takes power; being passive’s lots simpler.

So, I believe if I am in a scenario that has taken numerous my power away, then I believe I can turn into a bit passive and like, “Fantastic, we’ll simply do it your means”, something to finish this second.

Sarah Ellis: Really, have you learnt what, I can actually recognise that now you have described it!  I am like, “Yeah, she does do this when she’s clearly had sufficient of it”, and you have type of misplaced curiosity.  Since you love doing and you want issues with tempo, momentum and velocity, I believe typically you are like, “That is it, I am out”.

Helen Tupper: Something to get this accomplished, please!  That is how one can beat me into submission, simply bore me!

Sarah Ellis: Simply maintain going, carry on speaking!  And I used to be considering truly, once I’m nervous — so, I used to be attempting to assume, “Do I ever get aggressive?” and as any individual who’s introverted and sometimes will get quieter underneath strain, it is fascinating to assume, “Do you ever go into aggression behaviour?”  I believe I can typically be aggressive, not as regularly as passive; I would be extra possible to enter passive.  But when I’m nervous, I believe typically my assertiveness truly may be borderline aggressive, as a result of that is my nerves virtually taking on.

I can consider examples the place we have accomplished issues collectively the place I am so nervous, and maybe as a result of I actually care or I believe one thing’s actually essential, perhaps not aggressive, however I maybe dominate a dialog, which is probably stunning for somebody who’s an introvert.  However I believe that is my coping mechanism.  And I do know that we have talked about this earlier than.  Typically, I believe you simply watch me going, “She’s clearly tense and clearly fairly nervous”, and it perhaps would not essentially be seen as aggressive, however definitely dominating and possibly not the precise facet of assertiveness, I believe.

Helen Tupper: “Aggressive” is kind of a humorous phrase, is not it?

Sarah Ellis: Yeah, it feels fairly uncomfortable to say, does not it?

Helen Tupper: Yeah, it does, does not it?  As a result of I am going, “Am I aggressive?”  I do not assume I’m aggressive, nonetheless do I see your dominance in sure conditions?  Sure.  And have we had actually helpful conversations about that since?  Sure.  And if I take into consideration, “Are there occasions once I’m okay, however different individuals aren’t okay?”  So, I believe that is there’s undoubtedly — I would not say I am being aggressive, however I can see conditions the place I am like, “I simply need to get it accomplished”, and I can virtually — there’s that saying, is not there, “You journey over different individuals”; I can virtually see the place I am so decided to get it accomplished, as a result of I am okay about this, that I virtually dismiss, I do not take the time to know different individuals’s views.

I believe that, to me, is a type of this, “I am okay, you are not okay”, which was arguably within the space of aggression, however I am not shouting, I am not being nasty, nevertheless it’s not balanced.

Sarah Ellis: Yeah, which is the place typically these phrases and people labels can truly be unhelpful.  As a result of truly, you describing when are the occasions the place you could be okay, however different individuals are not okay, has given you extra helpful insights there than simply going, “However aggression”, in all probability as a result of we routinely default aggression equals shouting and that sort of behaviour.  So, I believe that is a very useful query simply to ask your self and to maintain noticing. 

Are you able to consider some examples, or maybe an instance of the place being assertive has helped you in your Squiggly Profession, simply to deliver this to life for everyone?

Helen Tupper: Sure, I do, I can consider some.  However I believe truly, fairly recurrently, you and me have belief between us, I believe we’re fairly assertive with every, as a result of we’ve this readability.  I do!  You are like, “I disagree, you are very aggressive”!  However I believe as a result of we’ve a readability of the work that we’re doing is about making careers higher for everyone, I believe that we’re in a position to give one another suggestions, or defend a perspective, as a result of it is linked.

For instance, a podcast subject, you and me can fairly rapidly say, “I do not assume that is the precise factor for us to do that week [or] I believe we have to talk about that additional”; that is fairly an assertive assertion to make, significantly when it is over WhatsApp, nevertheless it’s as a result of it is in service of us being okay.  As a result of we’re linked to this factor of creating careers higher for everybody, it is a part of that.  So, I believe we maybe do it fairly recurrently.

However I additionally assume that I’ve been fairly assertive about my profession selections.  So, there have been occasions in my profession, and significantly I keep in mind in Virgin, once I was enthusiastic about leaving Virgin, and there was numerous speak about me staying and different individuals creating roles for me to remain in, and varied various things.  And I believe in these conversations, I might have been a bit passive, I might have been like, “Okay, that sounds good, I am going to give it a go”, that type of passive factor, however that in all probability would have been higher for them than it was for me. 

However I believe I used to be actually clear about what I needed, which was I knew what they needed and I knew what I wanted, which was I needed to handle a much bigger staff than I might have accomplished in that position.  That was what was okay for me, as a result of I needed to turn into a greater supervisor.  A part of me being a greater supervisor meant managing a much bigger staff, and there wasn’t one thing they might give me that would assist that. 

I believe I used to be fairly assertive about that time, and I took time to take heed to what they needed and why they needed it, and I fully understood it; however I additionally held on to what was essential to me, as a result of I had the readability as a result of I had the arrogance, and I made higher choices due to that.  So, I can see these profession choices the place my assertiveness has actually helped me to personalise my Squiggly Profession.  What about you?

Sarah Ellis: Properly, I believe my examples, I can consider some greater examples as you have described throughout my profession, however I used to be attempting to think about some extra day-to-day examples of the work that we do, and the place I have not been as assertive as I’d have appreciated to, and the place I’ve tried to actively make that change.  So, I’ve received one that actually stood out the place, it should have been about six or 9 months in the past, I used to be going to be on vacation and I used to be a bit passive when somebody actually needed to speak to me whereas I used to be on vacation, and so they knew I used to be on vacation, however weren’t taking no for a solution.

Helen Tupper: Is that this me?

Sarah Ellis: No, no!

Helen Tupper: “And this particular person…!”

Sarah Ellis: No!  So, any individual was actually adamant, virtually borderline aggressive that they needed to do that assembly whereas I used to be on vacation, and I type of received — I believe as a result of they’d gone a bit aggressive and I believe they had been fully okay, I received very passive and mentioned, the saying sure if you need to say no?

Helen Tupper: Yeah.

Sarah Ellis: So, I did say sure once I needed to say no, which I do not do fairly often, however I believe I felt steamrollered into it, virtually as if I would received no choice or selection.  And I keep in mind that it was actually troublesome and fairly tense and it triggered me a variety of stress to do it.  After which apparently, my reflection on that was, “That was nowhere close to an pressing factor to do, nowhere close to”, in hindsight, even additional away from being pressing than a number of different issues that I might have accomplished. 

I believe that recognition in that second made me keep in mind truly once I was on vacation final week to say no to issues whereas I used to be on vacation, and it is very easy to work on vacation, since you’ve in all probability received your tech with you.  I hadn’t received as a lot tech with me final week truly, which made it more durable to work, which was a great factor, however I very consciously mentioned no to a few issues proper on the final minute, the place I’d have needed to do it on vacation, as a result of I keep in mind that feeling of considering, “Do not be passive.  You need to defend your boundaries, it is actually helpful to have a break, it’s okay to say no to issues when you’re on vacation”, which feels like one thing which needs to be easy, however I believe there are occasions the place it might really feel laborious to be assertive in that second.  So, that was one for me.

Then, one the place I used to be extra proactively assertive, the place I used to be happy with myself after which I used to be like, “I can speak about it on the podcast!” is that we had been operating a programme for one in all our companions, and I had noticed that I assumed we must always do some issues otherwise fairly rapidly, within the second, virtually mid-programme.  And to your level about, typically it is simpler to not be assertive, it wasn’t like there have been large issues, or issues that I wanted to repair; I might have simply accomplished nothing.  To do nothing would have been simple, and that will have been wonderful, which might have been passive.  However I used to be assertive in recommending that we made these modifications, making them occur, and I do know that if I hadn’t been assertive, nothing would have modified.   

I felt happy with myself there for doing that, as a result of you assume, “Oh, is it a little bit of a nice-to-do?” however I knew it will make the programme higher, I would received a great deal of different issues to do and many different priorities, however that proactive assertiveness I felt was each good for me, as a result of I believed in it; again to that definition of “arise for what you imagine”, I believed in eager to make our programmes higher and I needed to listen to what the individuals we had been working with thought as effectively, so I did not go, “We’re doing this and we’re doing this my means or no means”, however I used to be assertive about recommending what I assumed was the precise factor to do, after which respecting, listening to the corporate that we had been working with to say, “What do you assume, and have you ever received a perspective or perspective?” after which actually rapidly, we received to a conclusion that might be higher.

So, I assumed that is a great instance of simply recognizing alternatives to do that in a proactive means, as a result of I believe usually we take into consideration these troublesome moments the place we need to be assertive, as a result of issues are laborious, or it is a troublesome dialog; whereas, that was far more of a optimistic factor, the place I used to be taking initiative and utilizing my assertiveness for optimistic affect, I suppose.

Helen Tupper: The fascinating factor for me as effectively is the sensation of satisfaction it creates.  Since you mentioned, “A second I am happy with”, and I truly do assume that when you’re deliberately assertive and you discover that steadiness, it’s a second so that you can really feel proud; you are like, “I did it, and it is higher as a result of I did it”.

Sarah Ellis: It is true truly.  All my different examples, which I am not going to speak about, as a result of I truly did checklist fairly just a few examples once I was writing down some ideas for right this moment; once I was listening them, all of the examples that I had been assertive in my profession that I might about, extra usually after which extra particularly over the previous few months, I did really feel actually good about all of these moments, as a result of even if you happen to hadn’t received to the result that you simply had been hoping for, they did not fairly work out in the best way that you simply’d imagined, I nonetheless assume you be ok with the factor that you simply management, the way you select to behave. 

So, you selected to behave in an assertive means, to face up for what you believed in, with that calmness and that readability, and I believe that all the time feels good, which is helpful to recollect when it is feeling laborious to do.

Helen Tupper: Whenever you’re like, “So, subsequent time you get bored, Helen, in a gathering and also you turn into passive, take into consideration how proud you will be if you happen to keep optimistic!”

Sarah Ellis: Yeah, that is what I’ll say to you; that is what I’ll say to you!

Helen Tupper: Thanks, cannot wait so that you can coach myself within the second!  So, what we have got for you now are three coach-yourself questions, in an effort to perceive and assess your assertiveness; after which we have got three concepts for motion to extend your assertiveness.  So, I am going to do the three questions first, after which we’ll get into that first concept for motion.

So, coach-yourself questions: (1) how regularly do you say sure if you’d prefer to say no?  (2) when do you discover it laborious to guard your boundaries?  (3) what stops you from talking up and sharing what you assume?  If you happen to can simply take a little bit of time to mirror on these coach-yourself questions, you will get to some actually fascinating insights about when you’re or aren’t assertive now, and why that could be.  So, what are a few of the points that you simply may want to beat, and the concepts for motion that could be most related so that you can take first.

Sarah Ellis: So, our first concept for motion is about speaking in an assertive means, as a result of usually, I do assume communication and assertiveness go hand-in-hand, and we’re speaking about these two issues after we’re enthusiastic about, “What does it seem like?  What could be observing and noticing if somebody was rising their assertiveness?”

I discovered this 3C mannequin, which truly I believe was being utilized by nurses within the NHS, that I assumed was fascinating, and so they describe this 3C mannequin that can assist you simply to consider what you are attempting to realize, after which we’ll speak particularly about the way you do that.  However these three Cs are: clear, so is the message clear and simple to know; assured, do you’re feeling assured that you could deal with a scenario, in order that feeling of confidence; and managed, which is speaking in that calm means that we talked about with the definition.  So, clear, assured, managed. 

It’d simply be value enthusiastic about, which a kind of do you naturally do effectively, which one do you discover hardest and due to this fact, what may you want to do, or what may you do otherwise.  And the factor that we actually need to take into consideration right here is, how will we keep away from phrases that cloud readability, make excuses and the way will we as an alternative enhance the quantity of I-ness, which I recognize is just not an actual phrase, however how will we enhance the quantity of I-ness in what we’re saying?

So, to deliver this to life, we have accomplished some from and to statements, that are hopefully broadly practical.  We have taken it fairly far to actually make the purpose, however hopefully as effectively, they will simply assist deliver to life what we’re speaking about right here.  So, for instance, you may say one thing like, “Do you assume we must always maybe revisit choice B as a part of this challenge, because it could be helpful?”  So, simply a few of the issues there, “do you assume?” is asking another person, fairly than actually proudly owning one thing; “we must always” and “maybe”, in-between phrases, phrases that cloud readability; “it could be helpful”, so a number of lack of definitive statements there. 

As a substitute, what you would attempt is one thing that will sound a bit extra like, “I would suggest we revisit choice B at this level, as I imagine it’s going to give us some helpful info”.  So there, you have received the I, “I would suggest”, you are going, “I imagine that”; “we revisit choice B” is the motion; and also you’re saying once more, “I imagine it’s going to give us some helpful info”, so that you’re standing behind the advice, the concept, the motion that you simply’re attempting to speak about.

Helen Tupper: So, one other instance for you’ll be this one.  So, “Sorry for the doubtless silly query, however I simply questioned if we’d perhaps have to get James concerned on this challenge?”  So, we’re beginning with an apology, we’re undermining ourselves, “I am being probably silly”; “may perhaps”, clouding our readability there; and type of ending with this query, “what do you assume?” 

As a substitute, taking a few of these ideas that Sarah talked about, it will be far more clear to say, “I’ll ask James to get entangled within the challenge at this level.  Is there anybody else we are able to additionally ask for his or her perspective?”  What I like about that one is it is my opinion, “I’ll ask James to get entangled”, and it is clear, nevertheless it’s additionally fairly open, “is there anybody else we are able to ask for his or her perspective?” so it is not simply going, “I’ll do it, as a result of I believe it is proper”.  It is received that steadiness inside it as effectively.

Sarah Ellis: After which the final one, we tried to jot down one which we felt was extra passive-aggressive, as a result of we thought all of us in all probability see that in ourselves typically, in all probability see it in different individuals.  A passive-aggressive assertion may sound like, “I am not 100% positive about this, however I am joyful to go together with your concept”.  So you have gone, “I do not agree, however I am simply going to go together with it”.  It is traditional passive-aggressive behaviour, and I do assume we in all probability have all accomplished this in some unspecified time in the future, in all probability when you’re dropping the motivation, as Helen talked about, in a gathering the place you are like, “Okay, wonderful”.  I can virtually really feel these moments the place you simply assume, “I in all probability have gotten a unique perspective”, however do you’ve gotten the power, as Helen described, to be assertive?

Helen Tupper: Otherwise you may go, “Look, I am not 100% positive about it, however if you wish to take it ahead, then that is okay”, since you’ve gone —

Sarah Ellis: I really feel such as you say that to me quite a bit!

Helen Tupper: I believe you say it to me!  However I believe that is like, “Properly, if you happen to imagine in it, then wonderful”, nevertheless it’s virtually like, “however I do not and I am letting that it is on you”, is the implied.

Sarah Ellis: It is fairly enjoyable although, is not it, I believe, to be a bit bit passive-aggressive typically.  However as an alternative, maybe if you are going to be extra grownup and a bit extra grownup to grownup and I am okay and also you’re okay, it will sound —

Helen Tupper: Are we okay?

Sarah Ellis: Are we okay?  Who is aware of?

Helen Tupper: We’re!

Sarah Ellis: It could sound a bit extra like, “I’ve received some considerations in regards to the concept.  I would recognize the chance to speak it by means of additional earlier than we make progress”.  So, you are clearly stating, “I’ve received some considerations in regards to the concept”, and also you’re saying, “I would like to speak it by means of a bit extra earlier than we maintain going”, so you’ve gotten had that confidence and that calmness to say what you assume, and to additionally say you do not really feel snug about simply going together with it for the sake of it, and you are not going to go off and have that hall dialog, or undermine the concept afterwards, or get pissed off afterwards.

So, it is laborious, I believe, to be assertive the entire time.  And one of many issues that I did learn, that I discovered actually useful, was this concept of adaptive assertiveness, so noticing there might be totally different ranges of assertiveness that you’ll want in several conferences, totally different initiatives, totally different work that you simply do, so it is not like we’ve to attempt to — think about attempting to do that earlier than each assembly?  By the point I would thought in regards to the sentence I used to be meant to say, the assembly would have completed.

However I do assume you possibly can in all probability pinpoint sure conditions the place you assume, “Okay, I’ll have to dial up my assertiveness on this second, [or] I’ve received a selection about how assertive I’ll be”, and these sorts of statements, by way of eliminating the in-between phrases, the justifications, rising the I-ness, will simply make it easier to to speak with extra assertiveness, as and if you really feel like you want to.

Helen Tupper: And maybe this being adaptively assertive can be a part of the second concept for motion, which is about utilizing “if… then” as a method to enhance your assertiveness.  So if, for instance, you see your self getting aggressive, and keep in mind let’s perhaps reframe that phrase, so this can be a scenario the place you are okay, however perhaps you are not serving to another person to be okay in that scenario as effectively.  So, if that is you, if you happen to can see that within the ways in which typically you’re employed and typically that you simply may come throughout as aggressive to different individuals, then a very good response to that will be to decelerate your strategy, fairly than rushing up a dialog.

I see this in myself.  I would be, “Let’s simply get it accomplished, I understand how to do that, I might transfer it ahead quick”; my pure strategy could be to hurry it up.  However truly, the higher factor to do could be to gradual it down.  And one actually great way to try this is to ask a query to seek out out extra.  If you happen to can prioritise your curiosity over giving somebody the solutions and transferring it ahead quick, then you possibly can usually decelerate a dialogue, and you may hear any individual else’s perspective.

So, I would say to Sarah, for instance, “I do imagine that is one thing essential for us to do, however I would like to know extra about your considerations with this”, and simply asking in that scenario has abruptly slowed it down, and I’ve additionally introduced Sarah again in, and I’ve received extra steadiness, I am behaving far more assertively fairly than aggressively.

Sarah Ellis: If you end up getting passive, so perhaps that is, as Helen described earlier, with senior individuals, or as I talked about, with individuals who you discover intimidating ultimately, then a very helpful factor to do is to jot down down, earlier than a gathering, or simply have someplace helpful that you could maintain referring again to, three key factors which summarise what your opinions are.  What do you assume and what are you attempting to face for?  What do you need to talk?  So, if you’re underneath strain, you have received a helpful, helpful reminder.

I usually really feel actually clear and calm, if you happen to’re perhaps even rehearsing, otherwise you’re even saying these items out loud —

Helen Tupper: What, by yourself?

Sarah Ellis: Yeah, if you’re by your self!  I am like, “That is good, I really feel actually assertive”.  After which, if you get within the assembly and it appears like the whole lot goes out the window, as a result of any individual asks a query you have not anticipated, or maybe such as you say, you discover them intimidating, I simply keep in mind, and I’ve been in numerous conferences the place I believe this the place I am like, “What do I believe once more?  I assumed I used to be actually clear and now I really feel a bit caught, or in my head I’ve gone spherical in circles”.  That is the place I would undoubtedly get quieter and cease talking, as a result of I believe I am fairly simply influenced a few of the time.

Then afterwards, you’re feeling actually pissed off, since you’re like, “I believe one thing totally different and I did not say it”, as a result of I’ve missed the second.  And there is nothing extra irritating than lacking the second.  And that is the place I really feel like you possibly can lack the assertiveness that you simply want and you have not communicated in a means that you simply’d really feel proud about.  So, simply ensuring you have bullet-pointed or summarised no matter is helpful for you, write them down, say them out loud in order that if you happen to do end up dropping your means, you have received an opportunity, I believe, of coming again into the dialog of continuous to be assertive and never simply going with the movement for the sake of it.

Helen Tupper: I completely get what you imply.  I’ve undoubtedly been in conditions the place what somebody’s saying sounds so good, as a result of they’re so clear and so they’re so assured, and you are like, “Sure, perhaps that’s what I believe”.  Then, you come away from it and also you go, “No, truly I’ve mirrored now and it is not”.

Sarah Ellis: That is not what I believe.

Helen Tupper: That is not what I believe.  You had been simply actually, actually good at promoting your message; that is what you had been actually good at!  So, the third one is all about if you happen to can see that passive-aggressive behaviour in the best way that you simply could be responding to an individual or a scenario.  Perhaps it is since you’re like me and also you’re becoming bored, or perhaps it is since you do not disagree, however you do not actually need that battle in that second.  What we want you to do is —

Sarah Ellis: 100%

Helen Tupper: That is the distinction between us.  Sarah’s like, “I don’t need to have it out with you right this moment”, and I am a bit like, “I simply need this to go away”!

Sarah Ellis: That type of rhymes, that’s your poetry for the day.  However that’s precisely our personalities to a tee.

Helen Tupper: It’s, undoubtedly.  So, if you happen to see that in your self additionally, what we have to do is locate the motivation to do one thing totally different, as a result of Sarah does not need to do battle, and I do need this case to finish extra rapidly.  If you happen to can connect your self to some sort of motivation to do one thing otherwise, it’s going to make it simpler to have a unique strategy and response to that scenario.

So for instance, the issues that encourage me in a scenario is, if I take a step again, if I zoom out from, “It is a boring assembly [or] this dialog’s gone on for means too lengthy”, if I zoom out of that and assume, “However what’s the greater factor that I am attempting to realize?” I am all the time attempting to extend affect, I am all the time attempting to make our work go additional.  And if I can keep engaged in a scenario, maintain being curious, as a result of I can assume, “However your motive to interact, Helen, your motive to get curious is since you’re attempting to extend the affect of your work”, then that helps me to ask that open query, to get another person’s perspective, to not simply attempt to go, “Yeah, wonderful, let’s simply transfer on and get it accomplished.

Discover the larger that means behind the second that you simply’re in, after which it’s going to make it easier to to remain engaged and never fall into that passive, “I am going to go together with it”, however outdoors of the dialog, you are in all probability moaning about it to any individual else.

Sarah Ellis: I’m wondering if there’s a little bit of a hyperlink right here to values, as a result of once I considered this query, the one means of feeling that I can keep engaged in moments of battle and to be assertive in moments of battle, is I connect these moments to studying, and that is as a result of studying is one in all my values.  So I believe, “I’m actually motivated to be taught and to enhance”, and likewise need to develop and get higher.  I’ve received an insatiable want, I believe, to all the time need to be higher than the day earlier than or the yr earlier than.  So my response has been, in moments of battle, ask curious questions.

So, the very sensible factor I do is ask curious questions, however I believe I might have had that sensible concept and never accomplished something about it, if I hadn’t hooked up it to a price that I’ve.  So now, I do not need to say I stay up for moments of battle, as a result of I do not assume it’s going to ever be true, however my relationship with battle is so dramatically totally different in that beforehand, I’d have been so passive in these conversations, discovered it so troublesome to have any degree of assertiveness the place individuals had been disagreeing with one another, as a result of I discovered it so troublesome; I now simply spot these moments of considering, “I can practise”. 

I simply assume I simply see it as practising one thing that I do know I discover laborious and I am not that good at, and I simply assume, “The way in which to practise that’s, I by no means attempt to win the talk, as a result of that is by no means going to be me, however I can ask some actually good questions”.  And I all the time remind myself that if individuals disagree with me, it does not imply they do not like me, and I’ve that little assertion pinging round my mind on the similar time. 

So, I believe something you are able to do to determine what’s your motivation to behave otherwise, whether or not that is about being aggressive, passive, or passive-aggressive, you have to need to do that, as a result of like we have described right this moment, I believe it is all the time means simpler to not.  So I believe, why must you trouble?  What is the “so what” for you?  Is it going that can assist you to realize your goals; is it going that can assist you to have extra affect and affect as Helen described; is it going that can assist you to be taught extra?  What is the factor that will be almost definitely to make you do one thing totally different?

Helen Tupper: I additionally take into consideration my id.  After I take into consideration being passive-aggressive, that is not how I need to be perceived.  I would do it by default typically in a scenario, but when I truly considered that default turning into my id, I believe that is not what I would like individuals to see after they work with me.  So, that can be probably a little bit of a motivator.

Sarah Ellis: Properly, you lose that satisfaction that we have talked about, I suppose, do not you?

Helen Tupper: Sure, it is true.

Sarah Ellis: So, the ultimate concept, concept for motion three, is admittedly about this proactive assertiveness that we’ve talked about that I discussed earlier, as a result of in some methods, the “if… then” is far more about reacting, the way you react in a scenario; whereas, that is about considering, “How can I usually be extra assertive?” and I actually like this concept.  Helen and I talked about this.  We have truly type of accomplished a pre-podcast for this podcast, as a result of we received fairly into the prep for this after which ran out of time, so that is our second go at recording it.  And we’re calling this concept for motion, Getting ready and Sharing your Factors of View.

One of many issues, I believe, that lets you be assertive is to know what you concentrate on areas of alternative or obstacles that exist in your trade, in your staff, in your organisation, having a perspective.  And I used to be describing to Helen that I believe in all probability for fairly a big chunk of my profession, I do not assume I felt like I had a perspective on issues.  I virtually do not feel like I had the permission to have a perspective.  I believe I used to be fairly passive by way of going, “Properly, I am going to do what I am informed to do”, versus going, “What do you concentrate on this development [or] this theme [or] this impediment; what’s your perspective?”  I believe it took me some time to virtually have that crucial considering and that initiative to go genuinely, “What do I believe?  What’s my perspective and what’s my perspective?”

Spot a few of these troublesome questions that you do not know easy methods to reply.  I believe there are actually areas of alternative, obstacles and troublesome questions which might be actually good territories to start out with to determine, “That are the areas that I have to have a perspective on?  What are the fascinating themes that I ought to spend a while enthusiastic about?”

Helen Tupper: So, to deliver that to life with a few examples, I believe the simplest one for us is Squiggly Careers, as a result of that is what we spend a lot of our time enthusiastic about and speaking about, that we’ve developed a really sturdy perspective about what we expect careers ought to seem like, and the help that individuals want to reach these careers.  So, we’ve a perspective that improvement needs to be democratised, for instance, and that the ladder holds extra individuals again than it helps them transfer ahead.  And, as a result of we’ve that perspective, we are able to talk it fairly assertively.  It does not imply that we do not take heed to different individuals about their perspective, however we have got that readability.

Now clearly, that is our present world of labor.  However for instance, lets say you’re employed in advertising and marketing.  By way of areas of alternative or areas for improvement in your discipline in the mean time, it could be all in regards to the metaverse, no matter it means; any individual might e mail us and tell us!  However truly, it’s best to in all probability know, it’s best to in all probability have a perspective on it.  That is an enormous space of progress, undoubtedly an space of noise in the mean time in advertising and marketing.  So, is that one thing that you simply assume is useful noise?  Do you assume it is a distraction from the precise day job of selling?  What’s your perspective?

If you happen to work in company social duty, for instance, enthusiastic about B Corps might be actually fascinating.  Is that the way forward for company social duty?  Ought to all organisations undertake the ideas of B Corps, or truly is that simply particular to some forms of companies?  Spending a little bit of time exploring the problems round your space of labor and enthusiastic about, “What’s my perspective on this?” may also help you to be far more proactively assertive if you’re speaking to different individuals.

Sarah Ellis: I had a superb instance of this in a workshop a few weeks in the past.  I used to be doing a workshop on progress mindset, and individually two individuals requested me the identical query, which I discovered actually fascinating; it was not like they’d overheard it.  They had been speaking to me in regards to the risks of progress for progress’s sake, so primarily relentless progress with out actually enthusiastic about, “Is progress all the time good for us?” so difficult the character of progress.

I discovered {that a} actually good commentary.  They had been listening to what I would received to say and what they’d accomplished is, in that second, they’d fashioned a perspective and a perspective.  However after they each, truly individually, shared it with me, they had been so fascinated about what I would received to say.  So for me, it was much less about me, it was extra, I simply noticed two examples that day of two individuals being assertive in sharing what they’d considered what they’d heard from me.  However then being very open to, what did I believe.  They usually had been additionally each actually open to altering their thoughts, they needed to listen to my perspective, and I simply thought that was an ideal instance of assertive communication. 

I did not really feel like they had been aggressively difficult me, and so they weren’t being passive by way of saying nothing and never contributing; they had been each doing that crucial considering that I described that I believe I missed for at the very least the primary a part of my profession, after which doing one thing about it in that second, in order that we had a very significant dialog.

Helen Tupper: So, simply to summarise these three concepts for motion then, the primary one was all about adapting the way you’re speaking, in an effort to do it in an assertive means, these “from” and “to” approaches that we talked by means of; the second concept for motion was all about reacting, so probably if you happen to’re being aggressive, what might you do otherwise?  If you happen to see your self being passive, how might you turn into extra assertive?  And the third concept for motion was all about being proactive, so making ready and sharing your factors of view.

What we are going to do is we’ll summarise these three concepts for motion on the PodSheet.  So, hopefully you have been listening and perhaps been going, “That is me, I do know I am doing that!” after which, if you wish to neatly get these concepts for motion, so you possibly can go and do one thing totally different, it’s going to all be within the PodSheet for you.

Sarah Ellis: And we might all the time love to listen to your concepts.  So, if you happen to’ve noticed different issues that you simply assume are actually useful to extend assertiveness, please do share these, please get in contact with them.  Additionally, if you happen to’ve received different matters that you simply’d like us to cowl, we all the time need to hear these too.  And if you happen to do have one minute to price, overview, subscribe, share the podcast, it is a very easy means that you could help us and the work that we’re doing with Squiggly Careers.  We all know it’s going to by no means be high of your to-do checklist and we fully perceive that; but when you could find 5 minutes to do us, what we describe, a five-minute favour, it offers us that pretty second in every week the place we learn each single overview and it helps us to know the place we’re being helpful and what we’re doing is helpful.  But additionally, it does assist us to unfold the Squiggly phrase, so we do actually recognize it if you happen to get an opportunity to try this.

Helen Tupper: So, thanks a lot for listening right this moment, and we’re again with you very quickly.

Sarah Ellis: Thanks everybody, communicate to you once more quickly.

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