-When you decide to become assertive, you must commit to it. To change being passive, or walk on. That you will change the way you go about things permanently. A huge part of this is for you, but it is also for others as well. When they see you mean what you say, they will react accordingly.

-Learn to be an active listener, but expect the same respect in return. Do not be afraid to ask people for the same courtesy that you have shown them.

– We all have points of view, and that is ok. Learn to be comfortable with the concept that it is ok to agree to disagree. This is not a passive aggressive statement, it is a statement that shows a mutual respect for each other’s time and opinions, and lets the other party know that you are both agreeing to move forward.

– I talk a great deal to patients about being solution focused, instead of problem-focused. Do not be the person who simply complains and points out what is wrong. Be the person who points out what is not working, but has some solutions to fix the problems that exist. This mentality changes moods and teams in a meaningful way.

– Remember that body language us 97% of communication. Your body language must be as assertive as your words. Remember that there is a fine line between assertive and aggressive, so a good way to be sure you are not crossing that line is to practice with a partner, friend, or even in a mirror. Good eye contact is an important key here as well!

– Remember that assertiveness is not to lose your cool. It is to gold firm, while others may lose their tempers around you. Hold steady, and the storm will pass, as one person being irate does not last long, and they quickly realize it is pointless.

– Start with small steps, and semi-safe people. Practice the skills in real time. Small successes at being assertive will give you the confidence to use these skills in more meaningful situations.

– We touched earlier on the concept of getting comfortable with learning to say, “No.” We are all only capable of so much, and we want to do a good job on what we have. There comes a point when we have hit the point where we cannot take on any more. Learning to say, “No,” and learning to delegate, are two important assertiveness skills. Your time is valuable, and you need to impress that during these discussions. Sometimes if helps to speak from a monetary standpoint. Who’s time is best spent on that task, and how is your time best spent?

– When we first practice assertiveness, it is natural to feel guilty, as it is new, and it is different. We view being assertive as not being a team player, as being difficult, or as acting aggressive. None of this is true. While some people may push back at your new assertive nature, they are just testing your limits. They want to see if this is for real, or is you will cave. These are the moments when you must have strength and reserves to toe the line. People just need to get used to it, and to see if you are capable of the new gumption you are showing….you are!

– Maintain a sense of personal space to with your work, and your presence. Do not let people breach this. This is part of assertiveness. This is letting people know what boundaries you are comfortable, and that they are to be respected. We all have different “bubbles” of comfort with personal and work space, it is important to make your know, and make sure they are respected.

– I read in Forbes about a concept called, “fogging.” This is when someone pays you a hostile comment such as, “Did you get a haircut? I like it longer,” or, “You look really good in green, but this is not a good color on you.” Your response can be to say, “You are right, they cut it a little shorter than I planned, but it will grow,” or, “I agree, green is my favorite color. I tried something new, but I am not a huge fan either.” It is not that you are letting the person walk all over you, you are taking the power away from their power to insult you or trying to make you feel bad. It shows the person who the adult is.

– Work on tone of voice, and make sure that it is one that speaks from a place of confidence and authority. This goes along with body language, good posture, and the overall way you carry yourself, that says, “I am to be taken seriously.”