Unknown to French dictionaries, assertiveness has nevertheless become an established term in the language of recruiters. Here is a short definition:
assertiveness, n.f. : the quality of expressing opinions or desires with strength and confidence, so that people will pay attention.
It is a concept developed by the American psychologist Andrew Salter from the English word "to assert". Assertiveness is the simple, direct and non-aggressive affirmation of oneself. This tool is essential in your social relations and communication. It allows you to assert yourself by defending your rights and your convictions without infringing on those of others. And this, with calm, positivity and respect for others.
An essential soft skill
Assertiveness is an essential soft skill to show during your job interviews and in the working world!
Assertiveness allows you to create :
- transparency: being assertive means saying goodbye to the unspoken, because you are able to express your opinion and be authentic;
- confidence: the person you are talking to feels respected and listened to, and you show that you have confidence in yourself and in your convictions;
- less stress: daring to assert yourself and say no to a surplus of assignments will take a weight off your shoulders, and this by communicating calmly.
Develop your assertiveness
Assertiveness is as much a skill as a know-how (good news, it can be learned). This skill lies in the ability to express one's thoughts and opinions firmly. For this, good communication skills is essential. Because yes, "language is power".
Here are some tips for better oral and physical communication:
In 👉 this video 👈 Camille Balenieri, ghostwriter and communication consultant, gives you 12 tips to improve your oral and body communication:
Tip #1: Be polite. Even if you're stressed, don't forget the basic cordialities: "good morning Sir/Madam" upon arrival, say hello when leaving and send an email at the end of the day or the next day.
Tip #2: Settle your voice. Speak loudly enough to be heard, don't speak too quickly and articulate well.
Tip #3: Control your body language. Sit with your back straight and look your interviewer in the eye.
Tip #4: Memorize your pitch. An interview is always part unknown... and part known. On the expected questions you should prepare and memorize answers before your interviews.
Tip #5: Be concise. Your time is limited... Keep in mind that an interview has a fixed duration.
Tip #6: Finish your sentences! Don't let your sentences float, it will give you more power of conviction.
Tip #7: Be convinced by what you are saying. If you don't believe in what you are saying, your interviewer won't either.
Tip #8: Be honest. You have the right to take a second to think, to say "I don't know" or to ask to rephrase a question if you don't understand it.
Tip #9: Establish a connection with your interviewer. Prepare for your interview by learning about the company and/or the interviewer. Include in your speech some of the key words you found in your research: this will show that you are well aware of what the company does and that you understand its issues.
Tip #10: Adapt your level of expression to the person you are speaking with. Avoid familiarity, unless you know the person well.
Tip #11: Vary your vocabulary. Don't overuse general words like "interesting". Be more specific!
Tip #12: Use positive rather than negative sentences. Positive sentences have a "naturally" more favorable effect on the person you are talking to.
In order to have assertiveness in your pocket, you need to have a fairly good self-confidence and self-esteem. The latter is not the same from one moment to another of the day because of all the external factors that can influence your mood. To boost it and wake it up, here are two little tips:
- Recall your successful professional missions and achievements (there are more of them than you care to admit)
- Make a list of your top five qualities (don't hesitate to go overboard)
Now you have all the tools you need to develop your assertiveness!
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