Increasing your assertiveness will help you become more confident, be a more effective leader, be better able to support your staff, and communicate the value that you bring to your employer. And, even more importantly, being more assertive will positively impact your career.
Can I Become More Assertive & Remain True to Who I Am?
In the following video, Sherri Cannon, PCC, Executive Coach and Donna Schilder, MCC, Executive Coach & President, Donna Schilder Coaching, discuss how you can remain true to who you are while becoming a more assertive leader.
Can I Become More Assertive & Remain True to Who I Am? – Video Transcript
Sherri Cannon, PCC, Executive Coach:
I think I heard you say…I know this doesn’t mean change who we are, because who we are is who we are. But can you just talk, riff on that a little bit, about if I know my values and I know who I am, and the who I am isn’t comfortable, right, with this whole continuum, how can I do this work and stay true to myself, but also become this leader that is complex like that?
Create Your Own Brand of Assertiveness
Donna Schilder, MCC, Executive Coach:
Yes, absolutely. If you’re a naturally passive person, you may do assertive different than an aggressive person does assertive. But you have your own brand of it. And I was always true to myself and who I was, but when I worked in aerospace, I was different, and I acted differently than I did when I worked in healthcare and worked with frontline staff.
Yeah, culture and the needs of the people. For sure. Definitely the cultures are very different. And what I did was enhance certain things or stretch into things that I may not have my most comfort in. It may take me more energy to stretch into a place where I’m not as comfortable, but I can do it. I do it a little differently, but I do it, and I do it in my own way. And when I do, people react differently. And that’s how you know that you’re doing it successfully is when people act differently with you.
Donna Schilder, I hear a growth mindset coming through loud and clear. I love that, shifting even…Yes, some discomfort, but not because I’m not being true to me, but because I’m learning something.
You Can Stretch Into Learning to Be More Assertive
Yeah. And there’s different ways. I mean, we modify. If a person’s not as naturally outgoing, there’s different ways than just stopping at every person’s desk to be personal and connect. Maybe you have appointments, and you know on that day you’re doing it, so you get all your energy up, and you do it that way. Or you send more emails that are checking in with people, or you write little notes to them. Once you know what you’re trying to do, then you can experiment with your coach to find a new approach that is going to create the effect but also fits with who you are.
The same idea that a spouse or whoever they are might feel like, “Oh, it’s not romantic if I have to make a note to buy the flowers, or if I have to remember to say, ‘I love you,'” or whatever. And yet, the impact, right? The impact of you remembering is huge. So I think it may be similar in the work-place like you’ve said?
Absolutely. Creating disciplines around things that you’re not comfortable with. We had an executive that he put “talk to each person” on his to-do list on a certain day. And he did it every week that way, and the relationships built. So it’s not natural to him, but it is something that’s important, and so he needs to do it. He needs to find a way to do it that works for him. And the fact that you made that effort and that you showed that you cared with an employee or a spouse, that’s what matters. Not necessarily that you just spontaneously think of it, I think.
A Coach Can Help You Become More Assertive and Remain True to Who You Are
And I think that then when you’re working with a skilled coach, that then those new experiences don’t get lost. Yeah?
So if I put it on my calendar, and I’m going out there, and I’m having these conversations, what’s the role a coach might play to help get that or see it?
Well, a coach would help you look for what modality would work for you. Is it having a poster on the wall? Is it putting it on your phone? Is it putting it on a piece of paper?
What will work for you and help you create an environment that supports you to do the new actions. And then also, as you start doing them, there’s discomfort or certain things don’t work, so you come back to the coach, and the coach helps you find a new way of trying it, and also bolsters your confidence and supports you with your failures and then helps you learn from them.
And as you keep doing that over time, an iterative process where you meet with your coach on and off over months, you’ve kept it top of mind. And what we intend to do, we do more. You have built an environment to support it. You have your coach to help you keep it top of mind, help you hold yourself accountable. And then over time that becomes natural and becomes part of how you operate.