by: George Tannous, PhD
Become a Certified Life Coach
Important: Before you study this lesson please watch this video, “Why?“. Example: If you or your client are in a relationship and the other person displayed an attitude of not being “Truthful”, you’ll need to master, and you’ll need to educate your client the following: “Confront and Level!”, “Assertive Communications!”, as well as “I Feel Good, PST!”.
Make sure to answer the questions at the end and follow the instructions for submission!
When it comes to expressing our feelings and emotions, most of the times we take an alternate route. We sometimes arm ourselves with aggression, we sometimes engage in sarcastic conversations, and sometimes, we just suppress our needs and feelings in order to avoid conflict and resentment.
But all the methods mentioned fail to address our desired situation. Instead of empowering you and enabling you to express yourself clearly, they cripple you and sidetrack you from having a constructive conversation.
Even though there are ways to express emotions, desires, and feelings in a constructive manner, we often use the above methods to escape a situation. We often harness the power of anger, envy, and fear to prove a point and we sometimes simply avoid the situation by keeping things inside.
One of the ways to conduct healthy conversations and facilitate the free flow of ideas is assertive communication. Not only assertive communication helps a person conduct a conversation with respect, but it also enables everyone to express themselves in a healthy manner.
What is assertive communication?
Assertive communication is a method of communication we all should strive for. One of the biggest advantages of practicing this kind of communication is it empowers you. When you engage in assertive communication, it enables you to be honest, expressive, and open about your ideas, desires, emotions, and feelings.
Assertive communication enables you to express positive as well as negative ideas, thoughts, and emotions without taking a toll on the self-esteem of others. Unlike other forms of communication that either make you suppress your feelings or encourage you to attack others, assertive communication helps you lay your ideas in front of others in a diplomatic manner.
When a person engages in assertive communication, it automatically implies that the person respects himself and is aware of his rights and boundaries. It implies that the person is willing to protect his own rights and is willing to take a stand for himself but not at the cost and rights of others. Assertive communication allows a person to conduct constructive communication when addressing a situation and helps him be transparent while coming up with a solution that not only benefits him but also benefits others.
Benefits of engaging in assertive communication:
Clear and constructive communication plays a crucial role in your relationships. While other forms of communication namely, passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive take a toll on your relationships, assertive communication helps you improve your interpersonal relationships. When you are assertive and aware of your rights, you learn to say “No”. Instead of becoming defensive or submissive, you communicate your points of view while being respectful of others.
Another benefit of assertive communication is it boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Assertive communication helps you develop respect for your preferences, limits, emotions, and feelings. You understand that just like everyone else, you have the right to express your needs and it’s completely fine if someone disagrees with it. As you keep practicing assertive communication, you become more aware of your opinions, thoughts, and desires and you set healthy boundaries.
Assertive communication also helps you establish trust. People who engage in aggressive communication often receive resentment; people who engage in passive communication are often not taken seriously but people who engage in assertive communication are not only taken seriously but are also trusted as well as respected.
When you engage in assertive communication, you encourage and promote transparency, you state your views and desires clearly without being angry, submissive, or manipulative as a result of which, you automatically build trust and command respect.
Assertive communication also makes you more empathetic. Unlike aggressive communicators, assertive communicators do not impose their will on others by making use of verbal violence and unlike passive communicators, they do not ignore or suppress their emotions and desires.
Assertive communication is more about finding the middle ground instead of being selfish or being completely selfless. It’s about creating win-win situations where everyone benefits instead of focusing on the welfare of a few. Hence assertive communication enables you to walk in other people’s shoes. It helps you see other people’s points of view and enables you to make decisions that benefit everyone.
So, if assertive communication has so many benefits, wouldn’t it be great to cultivate the healthy habit of engaging in the same?
Facilitating assertive communication:
There are several steps one may take to practice assertive communication. But before we begin, it’s important to first recognize the method of communication you use. Are you someone who suppresses your needs and emotions? Are you someone who attacks other people, indulges in the blame game, and uses verbal or physical violence to get people to nod their heads in agreement? Or are you someone who uses sarcasm and manipulation to protest? The very first step towards assertive communication is to recognize your patterns and your method. Once you have the answer, you can take the following steps to be more assertive and engage in constructive communication.
Practice empathy: Practicing empathy helps you see and understand other people’s points of view. Asking yourself a simple question, “How would I feel if someone did this to me?” can help you unlock many answers and can help you change your ways.
Learning to say no: No is not just a word. It’s a complete sentence. And it’s completely fine to say no when you want to. If you feel uncomfortable with a situation, say no, be firm and stick to it. It will be difficult at the start but with time, it will become easier. If someone pushes you, a brief explanation is more than enough. Most people refrain from saying no because deep down, they are afraid of disapproval and resentment, but overthinking only makes things worse. Saying no doesn’t make you self-centered, it just implies that you have preferences and boundaries that you respect, and you would like others to respect them as well.
Mirrors to the rescue: It might be difficult to change your ways, you will face some challenges, you’ll be tempted to revert back to your old ways, and you might find being assertive extremely difficult. And it’s okay. It won’t happen in a day; it won’t happen in a week, and it might not happen in a month.
But it’s important to keep moving forward. Take small steps every day. Do what you can, gather the courage and speak up. If you find being assertive immensely difficult, you can practice in front of the mirror. Watch your body language, notice your expressions and your hand movements. Make a script if needed and say the words out loud. Practicing being assertive in front of the mirror will equip you with confidence and will help you pick up this healthy habit quickly.
Maintain a journal: Journal helps you know yourself better. Write down how you feel, when you felt scared, when you felt angry or when you felt the need for being sarcastic and why. Journals can actually help you dig deep and uncover facts about yourself that can help you immensely to be assertive.
Do you also practice assertive communication? How has this form of communication helped you in expressing your needs and desires?
Please write an essay, up to two pages, about a past experience you or someone you know didn’t use assertive communication. Tell us in detail, who, what, when, where, why, to whom, the time, the place of what you did. The outcome! And tell us in detail how you could have changed that use from what you learned today so the outcome would have been good. Internalize this lesson. Make it become a part of you. Share your story in the “Forums.”
Our advice is for you to practice “Assertive Communication” for at least a week. Tell others around you to point out any event in which you didn’t. Have them hold you accountable. Visit the “Forum” and do a “CONFESSION”.
What is a “CONFESSION”? A CONFESSION IS WHEN YOU’VE DISPLAYED A WRONG BEHAVIOR AND WERE HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY ONE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, PEERS, OR EVEN BY YOU. VISIT THE “FORUM” AND TELL US ABOUT IT. WE WILL GIVE YOU FEEDBACK! MAKE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO ABOUT “CONFESSION” FOR MORE DETAILS! FURTHERMORE, BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FORUM AND GIVE FEEDBACK TO OTHERS. “That’s how you gain practice in becoming a CERTIFIED LIFE COACH!
Read the article? Time to introspect?
Q1. When it comes to expressing your needs, what communication styles do you prefer? Aggressive, passive, passive aggressive, or assertive?
Q2. Do you feel comfortable while being vocal about your rights or your needs?
Q3. Do you shy away from setting boundaries? Why? What do you think holds you back?
Q4. Do you make use of verbal violence to prove a point? Why? Do you think assertive communication can help you ditch this habit?
Q5. What steps are you planning to take in order to practice assertive communication?
This module includes the following:
- Why Become a Life Coach
- Passive Communicator
- Passive Aggressive
- Good Listener
- Attitude Check & Confession
- Confront and Level
- I Feel Good, PST™
There is no way any relationship will survive without having the qualities mentioned above.
Make sure to read each article carefully at least three time. Print your workbook (will be available per lesson.) Answer all questions and enter them in your workbook. Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate so long as you’ve been a member of the “Forums.”
Also, follow the instruction for sharing your story in our Forums as well as participating in our “Forums,” especially our unique “Confessions Forum” so you may gain practice, knowledge, experience, and expertise!
I am thankful that you have given me this opportunity to share all of this with you. May God bless you and bring prosperity and peace into your life.
George Tannous, PhD
This is Where Confessions, Attitude Checks, Accountability, Give and Receive Feedback Comes in. Practice for Your Own Practice!
Well, you might be asking yourself “How am I going to get practice for my practice?” Great question and I thought you’ll never ask!
#1 You are part of a group with the same interests.
#2 You have a question in regards to one of your clients and we are here to help you.
#3 Others have questions and you can give feedback and help them.
#4 You need to do a confession.
#5 And much more.
You Are Never Alone! Join the Forums!
Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate. Must participate in our Forums to get certified! You’ll achieve your internship by joining and partcipating in our “Forums”.