Being assertive is good. It allows you to get your point across in a way that is better remembered by the other party because of the intensity of the emotion that is associated with it. However, assertiveness can also be a pitfall when overdone. While it can seal deals, it also has the power to destroy relationships and potential business opportunities. How, then, can you assert yourself without being too pushy or annoying?
Here are some tips you might want to keep in mind the next time you try to calmly convince someone to see your side of the story.
Don’t Bulldoze Your Listener
What is bulldozing? In sales, it is referred to as the act of drowning the prospective clients in figures and facts in order to confuse them to eventual submission. Keep in mind that the only way the other party will accept your idea is when they have decided that they want it. People who have given in to your bulldozing will do so only at first, but will eventually try to get out of the situation, be it after a few minutes or after a few days. You must be able to know how to read body language in order to decipher if a certain action is appropriate for the situation.
Nevertheless, if you want to be an effective and truly successful persuader, you want others to willingly agree with you, not because you almost forced them unwillingly to do something or left them with no other choice. If you are at a debate, this is fine. You are trained to tear the other person’s statements apart. However, in a normal conversation, this is a major blunder.
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still,” as the saying goes. This means that while you may have succeeded in getting others person to give their agreement forcibly, they will still maintain their original ideas. If you try to make them cooperate with you thereafter, expect that it is going to be difficult.
What should you do then? Try to make your idea attractive to the other party so that they would be more willing to submit to it. You can do so by first acknowledging the merits of their points and then outlining your merits. Do not make a comparison that is based on just the negative aspects. You will appear to be discrediting the other person; this is not good.
Be Patient And Try To Avoid Clashes
The professional persuader is never overeager; he always moves steadily and carefully towards his goal, and avoids getting into situations that would result in idea collisions. He is sensitive enough to watch out for emotional or psychological taboos and avoids them at all costs.
How can you do this? First, do not take sides. Try to be open to all ideas that are placed on the table and consider each one’s merits meticulously before you move on to pursuing your selection. Actually, you don’t really need to focus on one concept alone. When you study everything that’s suggested, you will find that you can make appropriate changes and combine all their positive aspects to arrive at something that is agreeable to everyone involved.
The key to being effectively assertive is to keep an open mind. If you simply stick to what is in your head and work endlessly at seeing it through in 100% state to the end, do not expect to enjoy the ride. You will lose friendships, you will lose confidence, and you will lose the drive, eventually. Assertiveness is good when used the right way, which is the professional and balanced way. If you try to use your assertive skills to force people to your side, there is no way you will truly succeed.
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