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Assertiveness: Find Your Voice

by OKA Senior Consultant Jenifer Sanders

truthIn the EQ-i2.0 model of Emotional Intelligence, Assertiveness is your ability to put your needs, thoughts and opinions out into the world—even when doing so invites opposition or conflict or causes you to take a stand.

As someone who both coaches clients with too little Assertiveness—and as someone who personally struggles with this EQ element myself– I know that low Assertiveness can have many different faces. Too little Assertiveness can lead to feedback that we are bashful, weak, or withholding, but it can also make us seem uncommitted to a cause or issue. Failing to express our thoughts, opinions and beliefs can send myriad of messages.

Creating mindfulness around how others experience us when we choose not to share or contribute can be a powerful first step in building our assertiveness.

A friend of mine recently shared this TED Talk with me. It is a powerful reminder of the price of our silence—of the impact we have by NOT sharing our thoughts, opinions, and needs. Whether we mean to or not, our silence can send a powerful message, and often the wrong message.

This presentation compelled me to consider how many times I have remained silent in an effort to avoid conflict or personal discomfort. This reflection allowed me to better understand how my intentional silence does not communicate what I believe in or reflect who I am. This video challenges me to consider living more authentically by speaking my truth.

What message is your silence sending?

 

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