The ability to relate to other people is a lifelong skill that you need to master well. You need to be assertive so that people will sit up and take notice of you. There’s an art to relating to others so you come off assertive instead of pushy and irritating. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
- Have confidence in yourself. For you to be able to relate confidently and assertively to others, you need to believe in your own value first. Think about what makes you special and all the positive things about yourself and think about that when you talk to other people. When you walk into a room, hold your head up, have a breezy confident smile and shake other people’s hands with a firm grasp.
- Make eye contact. Whenever you talk to someone, look the other person directly in the eye. This lets the other person know you are engaged in the conversation and that you have a direct and straightforward manner. Being able to look at another person in the eye also lets the other person know you are open. When you refuse to make eye contact, it shows to another person that you lack confidence or that you may be hiding something.
- Have a good handshake. A firm handshake makes a great first impression. It lets the other person you meet know that you are assertive and confident. A limp handshake shows a weak personality so give that other hand a slight squeeze.
- Express yourself clearly. If you want other people to understand you, you need to speak in a clear manner. Enunciate your words properly and use the correct words. Don’t use big words that other people won’t be able to understand. The simpler, the better and the quicker you’ll be able to get your point across. When you say things, refer to given facts rather than making things up or going by emotion.
- Avoid judging others. Having confidence in yourself doesn’t give you the license to pass judgment on other people. Take the time to listen to the other person’s point of view, just as you want the respect to be heard. When you pass judgment, you put the other person on the defensive, making authentic communication impossible.
- Be honest. Be true to yourself. Don’t agree with your boss because you think it will please the other person. Listen to your authentic self and make sure that others know how you really feel about something.
- Repeat back what the other person says. Mirror back what the other person is saying so you can communicate with each other effectively. By repeating what the other person says, you are affirming the other person and showing the other person that you understand clearly what is being expressed. Ask the other person to do the same so you know that you have gotten your point across.
- Learn to say “no.” Being assertive means that you need to be able to establish the proper boundaries with other people. For example, don’t be afraid to say no if you simply can’t handle one more task or you don’t feel like it. If you’re being asked to volunteer but you need to take time off to spend time with your family or to simply unwind, go ahead and say you can’t. If “no” is too scary as word for you, use “I’ll think about it” or “let me consider it.”
Relating to others authentically gives respect not only to your self but also to the other person. Take the time to make sure your voice is heard, but make the effort to lend others consideration as well.