Exercise Your Assertiveness!

Push beyond your comfort zone and stretch your leadership capabilities by exercising your assertiveness muscle. Assertiveness is the ability to express your feelings, opinions and beliefs in a constructive and open manner. Your assertive muscle gets flexed when you have the emotional courage to defend your rights, voice your disagreement and not let others push you around.

Being assertiveness is different from being aggressive. When you're aggressive; you control the room, dominate the conversation and force your decisions on others. When you're assertive; you let the voice in your head out for others to hear. You stand up for yourself, your ideas and decisions, while taking others into consideration. Assertiveness is a key emotional intelligence skill for leaders and team members. Leaders with low assertiveness scores on the EQ-i 2.0 may be slow to make decisions, take risks and avoid conflict. Team members with low assertiveness EQ-i 2.0 scores may be overly political, become resentful when needs aren't met and disadvantage the team by withholding their contributions and ideas.

Here are exercises to build your assertiveness muscle!

  1. Trust your gut. Intuition is a powerful thing. When our intuition kicks in, our subconscious is recognizing and responding to patterns (or a disruption of patterns) and past experiences.

  2. Ask yourself, "If there's no right or wrong, good or bad that will result from...(making a decision, speaking up, confronting a situation)...what would I choose to do?

  3. Put other options aside for a moment and state your thoughts and opinions about the one under consideration.

  4. List missed opportunities to be assertive at work. Next to each missed opportunity, write down what stopped you from being more assertive? Why did you hold back? What were you thinking or feeling at the time? Then, rate your level of assertiveness at the time on a scale of 1 (low assertiveness) to 10 (high assertiveness). For each opportunity, write down one action you can take to move your assertiveness rating up one point. Practice that action over the next two weeks.

  5. The next time you feel yourself holding back practice this mantra, "I"m greater and wiser than I appear to be." Knowing that - how will you respond?

Want to know your assertiveness score? Contact The Ei Coach, LLC to take the EQ-i 2.0 and receive a personal, one-on-one coaching debrief! susan@theeicoach.com

Susan ClarineComment