Monthly Archives: December 2009

How To Be Assertive By Being Gentle

I was talking to a neighbour this morning. Josh is a physical
therapist. Last week he took on a new client, a rock star – one of
the biggest names of the 1980`s.

Anyway, Josh has not been paid yet and after listening to the story
it became clear how he created that result. Yes, he created this
problem, it didn`t just happen. And there is a big lesson for all
of us in what happened.

1. Be Strong, Be Definite

When Josh scheduled the appointments he was indecisive and vague
about the price he was charging for his services. That rock star
aura must have confused him! This is how he set up the problem
which has now happened.

We all need to be strong and definite when it comes to both
personal and business dealings that involve key issues. If you are
getting your car fixed you need to be firm and persistent about
establishing the price and the work involved BEFORE you hand over
the car keys.

Whenever you are vague people will tend to do what they like.
You`ll be kept waiting, be ignored and often feel like a second
class citizen. Never fail to be definite and firm in expressing
what you want and what you expect from others.

2. Be Assertive, Be Gentle

Josh procrastinated and failed to set clear parameters about what
work he would do and how much charged and when he expected
payment. He was being a nice guy and left all the details take care
of themselves.

Unfortunately the details will not take care of themselves! We need
to be assertive and take charge when it comes to important matters
in our personal and business life. Waiting until later to discuss
these issues allows small problems to get out of hand until we
don`t know if we can even solve them.

I suggest asserting yourself in a gentle manner – smile, speak
clearly and softly, and, pause for effect. Listen carefully to the other
person and remain calm and centred. The way of gentleness is the
way of power! If you stay calm and speak gently yet firmly it is very
difficult for others to push you around.

3. Be Clear About Your Intentions

Josh had been watching videos of this rock star on YouTube. He
showed me some of the videos. Understandably he was excited about
meeting this guy let alone taking him on as a client. However this
left him confused when it came to charging for his work. Maybe
having someone famous as a client was good enough.

In important discussions at home or at work we need to be crystal
clear about what we want to achieve. We must then stay focused and
keep the conversation on track regardless of distractions or
efforts by other people to change the topic of conversation.

Let`s say you are running out of time to schedule vacation time and
a trip overseas. Hold in mind your ultimate goal. The goal for the
conversation could be to mark off mutually agreed dates on the
kitchen calendar. Now, that is a highly specific goal that you can
aim for and achieve.

Avoid Getting Sidetracked

What often happens though is we get side tracked and end up talking
about vacation destinations, travel sites and insurance options.
Before you know it you`ve had a lively chat but no agreement on
vacation dates.

Be very clear about your intentions for important discussions and
you`ll see how quickly you can wrap up all that needs to be said.
Clarity is essential. This focus gives you a definiteness of
purpose that gives your words more power and authority. This in
turn causes people to pay much more attention to you and so it is
much easier to get agreement and finalise plans.

Whether you deal with rock stars or not, these three points are the
key to talking in way that causes people to take you seriously when
you need to be heard, when you need to say what needs to be said
and get people to respond.

How to Gain Self Confidence and Destroy Limitations

People ask me all the time – what can I do to gain self confidence? And I give the same answer. Nobody wants to hear the truth but I`ll tell you anyway so you need to be open minded and prepared to test it for yourself.

You develop confidence by making a habit of doing what is impossible for you. That`s it in a nutshell. Yes, you can prepare better, you can visualise success and you can even read tons of books about gaining self confidence but none of that good work will amount to anything unless you get out in the real world and do what is impossible for you.

Be unreasonable, do the impossible and make a habit of going beyond your previous best and you`ll discover something amazing about yourself. You are much more capable and much stronger than you can even imagine. It is only when you stretch beyond your self-imposed limits that you discover how powerful you really are.

When you see great achievers rack up success after success they go beyond their own previous best results. They make a habit of doing what is impossible. And often they persist and achieve greatness simply because day after day they persisted in moving the imaginary line of what is possible.

If you want more self-confidence with people you can develop it quickly by making a point of always going beyond previous limits. Aim to get rapport with the difficult people in your life, assert yourself with those who never listen and go ahead and talk to those people in your community you always wanted to talk to but didn`t because you felt shy.

Over days, weeks and months of going a little beyond your self-imposed limits you`ll notice your confidence growing and growing. Feeling confident and in charge will be your new normal way of living.

Is it really that easy? Yes, it is as long as you have an attitude of always learning and improving. Sometimes you`ll make mistakes. That is perfectly normal. Even the most successful and confident people have ups and downs. If you try and fail simply try something different next time and even better get advice from someone who has proven skill when it comes to what you are becoming more confident at.

If you want more confidence at work for example you could talk to a family member or friend who has a track record of confidently moving ahead in business. Ask how he does it and simply copy his approach in a way that suits your personal style.

Again let me repeat the fundamental principle you can take onboard and act on today to develop lasting self-confidence… you develop confidence by making a habit of doing what is impossible for you.

And because confidence is an emotional state that “I can do it” feeling in one activity will positively impact all aspects of your life. If you go beyond your limits in sport, at work or remodelling the house, you`ll notice that feeling confident becomes your normal way of feeling regardless of what you are doing. You`ll feel more capable dealing with problems and issues in all areas of your life and as a result you will make better decisions and people will be much more responsive to you.

People like and respect confident people. As you become more confident you`ll find others are more attentive to what you say and more willingly to help you out. And that is one of the most important reasons to put an end to lacking confidence. Life is more enjoyable and its easier to get ahead when you get the respect you deserve. Its like walking with the wind at your back instead of walking headfirst into a gale.

Start right now and gain self-confidence by making a habit of doing what is impossible for you. Living like this puts the excitement back into life. Go ahead and test these ideas and you`ll see what I mean!

Want to improve your conversation skills today?

The fastest way to do this is to find someone who has great conversation skills and simply copy his approach. Don`t waste time debating what works or refusing a new way of talking to people because it is different. Just go ahead and copy what obviously works.

I have already spent many years copying what great conversationalists do so i`ll get you started right away with some of the best insights I have picked up. Do bear in mind you need to be open minded and pay attention to these conversation tips if you are to gain anything from reading this article.

If you are looking for complexity you will not find it here. We will review simple yet highly effective strategies that will improve your conversation skills if you listen and test these ideas for yourself.

1. Look For Commonality

Always be on the lookout for what you have in common with the person you are talking to. Pay close attention to not only what he says but also the way he talks. People reveal their passions and interests with changes in tempo and enthusiasm in their voices.

When you spot a common interest dive in and drive the conversation in that direction. Share your passion and interest in that topic of conversation and the dialogue can quickly take on a life of its own.

2. Be Energetic

It takes energy and enthusiasm to become the kind of person that others love to talk to. For this reason make sure you take care of your physical state before important social events or other situations when you want to make a good impression.

Eat well, be rested and aim to be alert and refreshed so you will be attentive, motivated and inspired to make great conversation when the need arises. When you are bright eyed and bushy tailed it is much easier to convey the enthusiasm that makes it fun and interesting for others to talk to you.

3. Take Control

Wherever possible take control of the conversation by asking open questions that direct the flow of the conversation. That way you can steer the other party onto positive and interesting topics of conversation.

If the conversation wanes change topics instead of waiting for someone else to move the conversation along. This attitude of taking charge will cause you to be much more proactive and dynamic – qualities we see all the time in people who make great conversation look easy.

4. Know Local News

Make a point of staying up to date with fun local news others will find of interest. Local events, new business openings, artistic and cultural happenings and local sports events are all potential topics of conversation people love to talk about.

When you know a little about a wide range of local news you will never be stuck for something to talk about. You`ll always have something to say to whoever you are talking to. This takes a lot of the pressure off and lets you relax and enjoy meeting new people.

If you still want to improve conversation skills go and test out these ideas. Yes, it looks too simple but if you decide right now to try a few new approaches you will see a big change in how well you can make conversation with people you meet.

With a little practice you will find it easier and easier to talk to anyone you meet. Just remember to play with these strategies and adjust your approach until it fits with your personal style. A little trial and error is to be expected until the changes in your conversation skills become second nature.