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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

Pause and reflect to gain clarity

Give yourself space to come to terms with what you experienced before being able to consider what action to take next.

Get clear on your values. It’s important that you understand within yourself first, the nature and reason behind the battle you choose to fight.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

https://www.lifehack.org/819319/how-to-be-assertive

lifehack.org

6

Key Ideas

Learning to be assertive

Being assertive means learning to manage your energy, plan your approach and craft your message in a way that maximizes potential for the other person, to be open to receiving and accepting it.

Acknowledge and don't react

  1. Make it known you noticed that underhanded insinuation by pausing and directing your attention to it.
  2. Calmly state you will revisit what they said, the action they took or the decision they made at another point. And you don’t ask it as a question; you make a statement.

Pause and reflect to gain clarity

Give yourself space to come to terms with what you experienced before being able to consider what action to take next.

Get clear on your values. It’s important that you understand within yourself first, the nature and reason behind the battle you choose to fight.

Seek to understand first

Stepping into the other person’s perspective is not about dismissing your feelings or compromising your values and principles. 

It helps you to communicate in a language the other person will understand.

Agree to disagree

Being assertive Is about boundary setting, not winning.

Part of being assertive is stating your boundaries and illustrating very clearly (with examples) the line the other parties should not cross. 

Construct your argument well

  • Choose your timing wisely
  • Be prepared to have examples and stories, to give a stronger, clearer message
  • Avoid placing blame
  • Stick with the facts and describe the emotional and impact upon you with diplomacy.

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Being assertive
In some workplace situations, being persistent can be a sign of confidence and strength. Other times, however, not taking "no" for an answer can make you seem rude and brand you as someone ...
Offering value

Effective persistence should always be based on providing incremental value.

From your conversation, you may have gathered insights on something that is important to the other persons, such as family, projects, or key interests. Offer an introduction or invite them to an event of importance.

Valuing time

No one is interested in an elaborate saga. Instead, ask a short, clear question on a subject in which the other person has expertise. They'll often be glad to help.

Follow up on an agreed time. If they tell you they’ll be busy until the fall, then don’t send them another message on July 31st. Wait until autumn starts and then send a polite note.

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Defining Boundaries

The word “boundary” can leave the impression of separation.

But boundaries are actually connecting points since they provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, intimate or profess...

The benefits of boundaries
  • Boundaries improve our relationships and self-esteem. They protect relationships from becoming unsafe.
  • Boundaries can be flexible. It’s good to think about them occasionally and reassess them.
  • Boundaries allow us to conserve our emotional energy. Without them, self-esteem and identity can be affected, and you can build resentment toward others.
  • Boundaries give us space to grow and be vulnerable. 
Determine your borders

Our boundaries are shaped by

  • our heritage or culture
  • the region we live in or come from
  • whether we’re introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between
  • our life experiences
  • our family dynamics
Boundaries are a deeply personal choice and vary from person to person. You can investigate and define your boundaries with self-reflection.

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Emotional intelligence (EQ)

EQ is the ability to be able to recognize and regulate your own emotions, while also empathizing with others and maintaining an awareness of their reactions.

EQ can be developed with p...

Know thyself

Having a deep understanding of yourself provides you with more accurate perceptions of how you are coming across to others. 

To increase your self-awareness, make an effort to reflect on your strengths, developmental opportunities, triggers, values, and the like so that you are intimately familiar with what makes you tick. 

Be open to feedback and criticism

Weighing feedback can help you guard against blind spots. It can assist you in recognizing if your behaviors are having the effects you are intending.

If they aren't, you can adjust your actions or apologize accordingly (or mindfully choose not to do either).

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Influence is power

No matter who you are, where you work, or what your professional goals are, achieving more influence in the workplace is critical for success.

But gaining that influence, like learning...

Build Trust

Influence is most often and most easily carried through trust: only when a co-worker trusts you will he or she be open to your influence.

The easiest way to do that is to be honest, no matter what. State your opinions, disclose your apprehensions, and don't keep secrets. 

Reliability Through Consistency

Inconsistency is the fastest way to ruin your reputation. Consistency, on the other hand, is slow but sure: if you execute your tasks effectively and on time, day after day, eventually people will come to rely on you.

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Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) can be defined as the ability to understand, manage, and effectively express one's own feelings, as well as engage and navigate successfully with those of oth...
Reduce Negative Emotions

... so they don't overwhelm you and affect your judgment. 

In order to change the way you feel about a situation, you must first change the way you think about it. 

Increased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for my dream job. I’ll be devastated if they don’t hire me.”
Decreased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for three exciting positions. If one doesn’t pan out, there are two more I’m well qualified for.”

Stay Cool and Manage Stress

How we handle stressful situations can make the difference between being assertive versus reactive, and poised versus frazzled. When under pressure, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep our cool. 

  • If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face and get some fresh air. 
  • If you feel fearful, depressed, or discouraged, try intense aerobic exercises. Energize yourself. 

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“I developed a theory of optimal experience based on the concept of flow—the state in which people are so involve..."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Defining Flow

Being in a state of flow means being immersed in the activity you are doing that you forget abut the outside world.
And you are most likely to reach this state when your skills are well-matched with your goal’s challenge.

Achieving Flow
  • Set specific goals, that are aligned to your purpose, passions and values.
  • Focus all your attention to the task in front of you.
  • Enjoy the moment, and do not worry about the result
The Flow State

Flow is the mental state where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time...

Requirements To Enter Flow

To enter flow, you need appropriated self-control, environmental conditions, skills, task and rewards. Besides that, you must know what you’re doing, be able to see whether or not you’re doing it well, and be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

The last point is especially important, it's mastery combined with challenge that brings flow. Too much challenge and we get overcome with anxiety. Not enough, and our brain loses focus and looks for other stimuli.

Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi
Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi

"In the flow-like state, we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces."

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Name your limits

You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where your limits are.

Identify what you can permit and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.

Tune into your feelings

There are two key feelings that are red flags that you are letting go of your boundaries.

  • Discomfort. Ask yourself what is causing the discomfort.
  • Resentment. Resentment usually comes from being taken advantage of or not appreciated.
Be direct

With some people, maintaining healthy boundaries doesn’t require a direct and clear-cut dialogue.

There are other times you might need to be frank, such as with those who have a different personality or cultural background.

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The Big Five
It represents the 5 personality traits psychologists use today:
  • Openness to experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
  • Aesthetics: they believe in the importance of art
  • Feelings: They experience emotions intensely
  • Actions: They prefer variety to routine
  • Ideas: they like complex problems
  • Values: they tend to vote for liberals.
Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.

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Social Awareness

.. means having an in-depth understanding of societal setups, communities, environments, norms, and cultures.

Human beings are social creatures, but many lack proper social awareness....

Importance of Social Awareness

Human beings would be misfits in society if it wasn’t for social awareness. It helps us to:

  • Understand and communicate with others productively.
  • Feel what is being said and say the right words.
  • Sense people's inner conflicts and pain.
  • Excel in communication and problem solving by being able to feel the vibe of a group of people.
  • Being valued and respected.
  • Contribute to solving society’s problems.
Developing Social Awareness

There are three competencies that are to be developed to grow one’s social awareness skills:

  • Empathy: Being able to feel what others feel.
  • Organizational awareness: Being aware of relationships, attitudes, and politics of a group.
  • Service orientation: Responding to the needs of the situation.

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