Getting what you want with assertive skills

Getting What You Want!

Do you like to get what you want? Of course you do – it’s human nature!

So how do you get what you want?
Think about it for a minute and jot down your answers. Do you just risk it and ask for what you want, demand, shout, smile sweetly or end up whingeing until you get your way?

Sometimes getting what you want depends on the situation you are faced with, the people involved, your priorities, values and beliefs, the time available, the resources at hand.
You would not use the same method to ask for a pay rise or promotion that you would use to ask a colleague to assist with a project you are struggling with.

Have you written down the methods you use to get what you want?
Compare your list to the following list of Keys to Clear Concise Honest Assertive Communication and ask yourself whether any of these can help you achieve your aims today!

Be Concise and Clear.
Have you ever been asked to do a report, only to find out afterwards that it was not what they wanted? Save yourself the frustration by being clear and concise. Does your boss want a preliminary report, a summary or the big picture?

Ask Questions
What about length? What statistics do you want? Ask the person exactly what is required and if it is you that is delegating the task to someone else, try not to rely on them being a mind reader – tell them exactly what you want them to do, clearly and concisely.

Know your Outcome.
Do you actually know what it is that you want? Imagine a pilot asking his passengers where they want to go in mid air. By then it would be too late. Know what you want before you ask for it, and if you don’t get the desired outcome, change your approach.

Tell the Truth!
Telling the truth is fundamental to clear concise and honest communication. It removes the stress of remembering what story/excuse you used. The bottom line is your body language will reveal that you are trying to hide something. Make life easier for yourself
by saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

Ask with the right tone
In a face-to-face conversation, words count for 7%, tone 38% and body language 55% of the impression created. Imagine trying to get what you want when you are angry or upset . . . how do you sound? Think back to when you asked for something you really wanted and you got it! What was the tone of your voice? How were you standing? How did you feel?

Respect yourself and others
Are you able to ask for what you want and need, while respecting the wants and needs of others? Respect brings self-confidence, and your tone and body language will automatically reflect this. It is also true that if you change your body language, your thinking and words will also change. Try saying ‘I am sad’ with a smile on your face. It just doesn’t work.

Be assertive
Assertive people can say “No”. Can you? Does it cause you stress?

There are many ways to say “No”. One of my favourites is “The Alternative No”. Imagine you’ve just been given another project or report on top of your already hectic schedule. With the right tone of voice, confidently look the person in the eye and ask “Given the time frame is X or Y priority?”
Another favourite is the “Rain Check No”. Thank you for thinking of me. I can’t help you now as it is after 6pm, and I can help you first thing tomorrow morning.”

Humour is effective too. Get the tone right and say with a smile, “Let me just add it to my list of things to do, that’s No. 27!”

So:
Be clear and concise
Tell the truth
Ask questions
Know your outcomes
Respect yourself and others
Assert yourself
Practice getting your tone of voice and body language working for you
Say “No” when appropriate
Add a bit of humour to lighten up everyone’s day.

Finally, keep in mind the words of wisdom from author Dr. Deepak Chopra, who says, “If you help others get what they want, they’ll help you get what you want” Go for it!

Posted on January 14, 2013 .