We often hear about assertiveness, in a professional context or in a personal context.
But what does this title cover? And how to assert oneself individually, in a collective functioning, being in a fair balance between the individual point of view and the collective point of view?
Let's start from the heart of self-affirmation: the individual.
Assertiveness can also be called assertiveness.It is a posture in which we take a position, in front of a group, in front of a system. In this posture, we are neither in aggressiveness, nor in flight, nor in manipulation.
Let's take an example.
You are attending a meeting that starts late. This does not suit you because you have a lot of files to deal with and no time to waste. If you adopt a posture of aggressiveness, you could, for example, blow, sigh, ostensibly look at your watch, strongly reproach the organizer of the meeting for its delay. If you adopt a manipulative posture, you can proclaim out loud "Yes usually with such and such meetings are late…If you adopt a flight posture, you don't say anything, you attend the meeting and you do something else during the meeting, such as checking your emails or processing your files on your computer or smartphone.
What would then be an assertive reaction?
It could be to simply say that the delay of the meeting upsets you, because you have other important topics to deal with. You can also come up with a solution that would be good for you and others.
What makes it sometimes difficult to assert oneself?
There are many parameters. First of all, there are educational and cultural parameters but also parameters that are more related to the moment, such as the level of serenity or stress in which you find yourself. The atmosphere of the group in which you are is also a parameter that will vary your spontaneous affirmation.
The cultural or educational side makes us integrate a number of values. If throughout your childhood you learned that being late was not allowed at all, you may be very responsive in the situation of a meeting that starts late. If, on the contrary, you have learned to manage hazards, you will immediately have a much more flexible posture.
In addition to the question of your values, which are personal, the emotional state in which you are, at the start of the meeting, also has an impact. If you arrive in a relaxed state, there is more chance that a meeting delay will not affect you or little. If you arrive in a stressed state, especially by questions of deadline on your other topics, the delay of the meeting is likely to upset you.
Finally, in a group with "strong personalities" it can be more difficult to assert oneself.
So how to improve your assertiveness or assertiveness?
It should be noted that, culturally, women are more often encouraged to take care of others, and therefore to put their needs after those of those around them. Assertiveness, or even impostrix syndrome, is therefore more frequently a subject of personal development.
The very first step of assertiveness is to become aware of what is at stake for oneself and for the group: the values that can be achieved, the emotional state that can be heckled, a particular group composition. In short, take stock of its internal compass. Then, in a second step, express in a calm and calm way what we really want. For example, using turns of phrase such as: It is important for me to…, I need…, I would like…, etc.
How to progress?
Start by identifying the topics that usually make you react. Try to understand what is affected in your home. And, every day, practice trying to overcome this automatic posture, in order to develop another more adaptive posture, which will help you to be more comfortable in your group interactions and to deploy your leadership, have more impact, less suffer situations while taking others into account.