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Assertive Communication Using Proven Assertiveness techniques

Assertive Communication Using Proven Assertiveness techniques

You need to learn Assertiveness techniques if you want to master the Assertive communication. It is as simple as that. People with an assertive way of thinking know that they have rights, but at the same time, they realize that other people also have the right to do so.

Assertiveness with Assertiveness techniques is the ability to convey your thoughts, opinions, needs, and feelings in a direct, frank, and proper manner. This means to assert their rights and not to offend the sensibilities of other people and not to deny their rights. When you are assertive, you take control of your life completely.

Around other people, we choose one of three styles of behavior: passive, aggressive, or assertive.

Passive style

People with a passive style tend to put other people’s priorities and needs above their own. They do not believe that they are worthy of defending their rights and feel inferior.

Passive people think that being assertive is too hard, while their style opens up new horizons for them. They feel (usually subconsciously) that they are weak, incompetent, and therefore do not dare to make any decisions in their life.

People choose a passive style of behaviour when they consider that it is better not to enter and not to provoke conflicts, although such a strategy rarely works. They are not respected; they are treated with pity. All this, in combination, leads to a drop in self-esteem, depression, stress, and victim syndrome.

Body language of passive people:

  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Shift from one foot to the other.
  • Hump.
  • Hold the body while talking.

Aggressive style

People with aggressive behaviors seek enemies around them, enter into conflicts, and assert their rights in an overly harsh manner. Aggression infringes on the rights of others. They tend to compete with people and every day to prove their worth as individuals. They beat out respect and self-interest from others.

This style of behavior is outdated and does not work even where it flourished – in business. These people are rude, ignorant, and have low communication skills. They are not able to build relationships based on love and respect, but mainly on fear.

Body language of aggressive people:

  • Point with a finger at the interlocutor.
  • Scream or raise your voice.
  • Clench your fists.
  • Too lean over towards the other person and look into his eyes for a long time.

Assertive style

Assertive people make contact with the feelings and emotions of other people and, therefore, can criticize, ask, or even complain delicately.

They are flexible; therefore, each situation is considered individually, in contrast to aggressive people. They are respected and appreciated, and they are in full control of their lives.

Even though their own thoughts and feelings might be difficult, they maintain to have mental and emotional space for both the other and themselves. That seems to be the key here.

Body language of assertive people:

  • Stand straight and steady, face to face to the other person.
  • Maintain unobtrusive eye contact.
  • Speak confidently and clearly – loudly enough for everyone to hear their words.
  • Speak fluently, without hesitation and with confidence in the voice.

To develop an assertive style of behavior, here are the Assertiveness techniques that you have to follow.

1. Set inspiring goals

This is one of the first Assertiveness techniques that we have totake care of. Now that you have realized the importance of assertiveness, it is essential to identify the areas of life that are most significant for you in which you can apply a new style of behaviour.

Identify the situations that you find most challenging. When do you need to be assertive? State them clearly. For example: “I would like my friend/colleague not to be late for meetings and appreciate my time. “Maybe you feel you already have this box ‘checked’. In that case: look again at the question. In what field of your life, would you benefit from more assertive behaviour? 

Start with the most straightforward goals, then move on to the tricky ones.

2. Breath in your Rights

Let’s be honest, what comes in your mind while thinking of Assertiveness techniques? You may have to consult the definition for that.
The following list of rights is essential to you as well as to other people. The list items are not exhaustive. You can add to it.

I have the right to

  • refuse to solve the problems of other people.
  • change my mind.
  • make mistakes.
  • say, “I do not know.”
  • make my own decision.
  • say, “I do not understand.”
  • say no.
  • be joyful or sad.
  • set my priorities.
  • take the initiative.

Be careful with this list, because your passive style of behavior (if you have one) can quickly become aggressive. People love extremes. As we noticed, in a bold form of action, there are no advantages, not even from a passive one.

Also, remember that all your actions are based on the subtle arts of living. For example, if you decide that you have the right to change your mind, then apologize to the person who was given the word to spend the evening with him. Your right to refuse something does not mean that you are now becoming an irresponsible person. And if you decide that you have the right to make mistakes, this does not mean that you should not draw conclusions and do not bear responsibility for them.

You have the right to say no, but everything depends entirely on the situation. You are never obliged to do anything what so ever. Yet, your responsibility in a relationship differs per context. Maybe you decide not to buy something in a store after a consultant spent his time and energy in a dialogue with you. Then your ‘no’ is assertively accommodated by different behaviour compared to the situation you decide not to visit your father’s birthday party. Either way your ‘no’ is ok. Assertiveness is about owning that right within the relationship, instead of off doing it harm with your answer or choice.

3. Reflect on the experience of your personal rights

Using the list above, write down a statement that conveys your most valuable rights.

Go back to setting your goals and apply your statement. For instance:

  • Goal 1: __. What are my rights in this situation? Do I feel like my rights are violated? If so, how come? What is my share in that feeling? And, with what behaviour can I reclaim my sense of having that right? (Because essentially it can not be taking away from you.)

Answer these questions for all of your goals.

4. Using Assertiveness techniques or strategies

Assertiveness is a skill that can be developed if Assertiveness techniques put into practice every day. Here are some of them:Broken record. Be persistent and repeat again and again what you want. Learn to do so without annoyance or raising your voice. Stick to your point of view and stay in contact with the other. This is a life-skill.

Free information. Learn to listen to the interlocutor and read the free information that he gives you. It will allow you to make arguments, referring to phrases expressed by your interlocutor.

Disclosure of Information. Assertively disclose information about you – about what you think, feel, and how you think about the information that comes from the interlocutor. To communicate that in a non-violent way is essential.

Blackout

This technique will help cope with incoming criticism. Do not deny criticism and do not counterattack. Blackout is like stopping. It is not freezing. Moreover, it is to hold off any actions for a moment, and ‘be’ and ‘let be’ whatever happens for a while. By the time you will find reality inside and out is helping you there.

  • I agree with the truth. Find in criticism of what is right and agree with this particular part. There is no point in denying reality. Never. Always accept it. Only after that any other desired direction can be of any meaning.
  • I agree that there is a misunderstanding. Identify the possible truth in an explanatory statement and agree to this. However – do not stop there. This has to do with the connective powers of criticism. We run (free at the time of writing this) Mastery Classes on the power of criticism within the Black Sheep Community and you are welcome to be part of them.
  • Agree in principle. Say: “It makes sense.” This should be your basic attitude, because it allows for a better connection with reality. If your default responses to life’s happenings are cynical or basic refuting and discard, that causes a lot of unnecessary sufferings. 
  • Deny wrong conclusions. Assertively operate on inaccuracies and logical errors. This is possible when the relationship is good. Are you worried about the relationship? Or doubt whether it could stand your remarks? Remember that expressing them in the right way improves the relationship. And, moreover, connections that cannot bear truth are not worth worrying about or keeping. So your only and best option is to improve your connection.

5. Using Assertiveness techniques to say No

In the life of every person, there are situations where it is necessary to say no. If you do not learn to do this, then after some time, there will come a realization that not a single goal has been achieved, and that priorities have been violated. Remember that you have the right to say no, but do so delicately and respectfully.

Moreover, doing this effectively, you will find so much meaning in your conversations and you will manage your daily life with more love and strength every day. Yes, that is a big claim. And I would be willing to teach you more about the principle behind this. First, there are some concrete strategies here:

Use an assertive body language

Remember that self-confidence and the perception of your confidence as an interlocutor depends on your body language. Manipulators always apply their methods to a person who is considered indecisive. Even when it is done unconsciously. Make direct eye contact, keep your head straight, straighten your shoulders, relax your arms, speak confidently and calmly.

Determine your position before you say something

If you don’t know what your answer will be, you simply don’t have it. Decide what and how exactly you mean it. Do not use your turn to talk, to think. To think out loud is not a way of saying no. (It either is a way to hide or an activity for a different context.)

Wait for the request

Some people agree to action even before a request has been voiced. This is very convenient for the interlocutor because he does not feel any duty to reciprocate to you in any way. In the end, he has not asked for anything. You volunteered yourself. And this weakens both the relationship as the ‘goodness’ of the deed. The more implicit the give-take-balance is, the more it runs the risk of causes unhealthy relationships.

Find the exact wording

Think about how and what you say. Be accurate in your answer so that the person you are talking to does not have any doubts whether you are willing to fulfil his request. Your wording should not be long and ornate. Hiding in words, nor in silence has never truly helped any one.

Do not apologize if this is not necessary. An apology often puts you in a debtor position. This example is commonly used in sales. Moreover, an untruthful apology within a human connection always pays the price of loss of autonomy for all. If you feel that you are being manipulated, do not apologize. 

Do not defend yourself if this is not necessary

Do not say why you do not want to fulfil the request; otherwise, the interlocutor will have the opportunity to manipulate your words. Feel the power of your silence after your ‘no’. (And it provides you with the opportunity to actually see whether the damage you feared is as bad as you thought it would be. You can then ‘open-up’, so to speak.)

Do not ask permission to say no

“You are not opposed if I refuse your offer” is another phrase that puts you in the position of a debtor. You decide. Not reality. Nor the other person. Yes, no needs to be expressed carefully in order to make your life-force stronger. (We run the course ‘Connective powers of criticism’ within the Black Sheep Community, free in times of writing. Join it, when this all speaks to you.)

Strengthen your position

Do not think that a person after refusal will not ask you for service again after some time. Let him know (if that is the case) that in the future you will reconsider or refuse the request again. Also, inform him whether you would like him to take initiative to do so, or you will do that yourself. All ‘moves’ like that strengthen your position.

Broken record

This strategy is ideal for this case of saying ‘no’. Repeat the same phrase without changing any words in it. This works even better when you manage to do so without raising your voice or expressing any kind of annoyance or shy-ness.

Do not wait for approval

You should not convince the other person to accept your refusal. It is not up to him. You decide. Autonomy is an action available to all, not a quality some happen to have and others don’t. Otherwise, you will again fall into the position of the debtor. And giving in once more already creates the beginning of the next situation.

Accept the consequences

You have the right to say no, and the other person has the right to treat your refusal as he sees fit. There may be unpleasant consequences, but come to terms with this since you have already made a decision. Autonomy brings a lot more than an apparently nice moment that actually contains more lies and unhappiness. You should choose truth with a little discomfort overlies with simply fake-smiles.

Learn Assertiveness techniques with Black Sheep Community

If you have read the article until now, you are extremely interested in learning assertive communication. The Black Sheep community is the right platform to get started. And this is not it. At Black Sheep you will meet with the future though leaders who are usually known as the black sheep of the society. Don’t you like to talk to the like-minded people across the globe? Contact Now.

The best metacognition tools and strategies to follow

The best metacognition tools and strategies to follow

What are the components of metacognition?

Metacognition is broken down into three components: metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experience, and metacognitive strategies.

Metacognitive knowledge includes:

  • One’s learning process and beliefs on learning.
  • One’s approach to learning and the manner they process information in.
  • The strategies one develops and when one will use them. 

The metacognitive experience consists of the emotions that you go through as you are learning and striving towards your goal. These emotions will act as feedback connecting past information. And new information to provide a distinct experience that would enhance your comprehension.

And finally, Metacognitive strategies are what we are going to deeply discuss today. They are designed to monitor your progress related to your learning and the tasks at hand. It is a mechanism for controlling your thinking activities and to ensure you are meeting your goals.

Metacognition strategies 

We have discussed what metacognition is, how it works and its importance. But now we are going to examine its strategies and how each one affects our lives.

Before you implement metacognition strategies you need to identify which strategy works best for you. The reason why metacognition is such a broad subject is because we each have different personalities and learn things differently. For example a strategy that might work for me, might not work for you. Therefore, you need to test run metacognition strategies before you find the one right for you. 

State the learning problem with some specificity. Identify what you want to know and what you want to do with that knowledge

The first strategy is concept mapping or more known to us as mind mapping. Mind mapping will simplify the task at hand by breaking it down into several aspects that your mind can comprehend. By scribbling your thoughts on a piece of paper in an organized and categorized way you are learning to be more thoughtful about your brainstorming process

The second metacognitive strategy is reflection. Start making self-reflection a vital part of any task you perform by using metacognitive activities. For example, you can ask yourself to identify the top 3 essential lessons or points after a presentation or learning activity. After this take these 3 ideas that you’ve learned and reflect upon them by questioning your understanding towards them and analyzing them.

Goal orientation, one of the most effective metacognitive strategies is goal orientation. This strategy however simple will make a big difference in your life. This can be used on a day to day basis or when focusing on one task. This strategy can be used in a multitude of ways and here is how you are going to apply it:

  • On the first day of the year I’m going to need you to jot down your goals for that year. Your goals could be as simple as a few words or very detailed. It doesn’t matter as long as you have something you are going to work towards.
  • On the first day of every month do the same thing and write down your goals of the month.
  • On the first day of every week repeat the process and scribble your goals for the week.
  • And finally every morning, write down your goals for the day.

Don’t overwork yourself. Write down goals that are realistic and that you are able to achieve. Because if you overdo if you are going to end up throwing away that piece of paper. And feeling down because you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Which brings us to our next idea, it is okay if you do not complete all your goals! We are human, things don’t go as planned sometimes. Circumstances changed this is why I asked you to write down your goals for every year, month, week and day. Because sometimes we have bad days and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that tomorrow is going to be a completely new day where I can still accomplish these goals,

Think Aloud. learn how to think aloud and speak your thoughts while performing a difficult task. A knowledgeable partner can then point out errors in thinking or you can use this approach for increased self-awareness during learning. 

Self-explanation. Self-explanation in writing or speaking can help you improve their comprehension of a difficult subject.

Provide Opportunities for Making Errors. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Mistakes are the only way you are going to figure out what you are doing wrong. Mistakes will act as a template for comparison.

“Self reflection is the school of wisdom”- Baltasar Gracian 

The six best basic communication skills you need in life

The six best basic communication skills you need in life

We will cover the best basic communication skills in detail. But before that, you must know the importance of communication skills.

The importance of communication skills

Communication is one of the most vital skills we need in our lives. Communication has evolved tremendously since it was first used until now. However its definition is still the same. Communication will always be the transfer of information from one person to the next and it comes in several forms.

Strong communication skills benefit you in several aspects of life whether it’s your professional,educational,personal life. 

When it comes to your professional life,  good communication skills are needed to allow others and yourself to understand information rapidly and coherently. On the other hand, poor communication skills would lead to several misunderstandings. With good communication skills, you are more likely to get a job as its highly valued in the workplace. Because as an employee You will need to request information, discuss problems, give instructions, work in teams, interact with colleagues and clients. Companies want employers that are able to think for themselves and use their own skills and intuition to solve problems.

When it comes to your personal life, good communication skills will strengthen any and all relationships in your life. Whether it’s with your friends, family or significant other. When you are able to express the way you feel coherently and can keep an open mind to hearing what the other person has to say this would eliminate several misunderstandings and prevent any future fights. In addition, good communication skills will boost your confidence by understanding people around you. And your own thoughts (which can be done by metacognition ) which will then, in turn, increase your self-awareness.

The top 6 basic communication skills

Listening:

 This skill is a skill that is forgotten and dismissed by many. When it comes to communication many people forget the fact that they are supposed to listen to the other person’s point of view of things. After all, a conversation isn’t one-sided. You shouldn’t just listen to the other person. But you should also pay close attention to other factors like their attitude or body language. This would then allow you to understand a person’s emotions as well as opinions. This skill will allow you to be more open-minded towards the other person’s point of view. Hence helping you understand them and connect with them, in turn, this understanding would be perceived as communication.

Body language:

Communication isn’t always verbal. In fact, communications started off as nonverbal and worked its way up to communicating through words. However, we should not forget the non-verbal factor in communication known as body language. 

Body language plays a larger role in communication that you think it would. Your behavior could completely put off the person in front of you or do the opposite and please them. Its very important to follow these following tips in order to perfect your body language:

  • Maintain eye contact 
  • A nod from time to time to show the person you are taking to that you understand them
  • Don’t puzzle yourself, give the person in front of your full attention. 
  • Never fidget 
  • Don’t keep your arms crossed

Be straightforward:

While maintaining your respect for others, always try to express your ideas bluntly, without veering off-topic. Because if you keep jumping from topic to topic the person in front of you will most likely be confused. In addition, when you babble on instead of keeping your idea concise, the person you are talking to is probably going to get bored. And end up missing most of your point.

Use visual aids:

When you communicate, use visual elements to support what you’re saying. This is very useful when you want to do a presentation in front of a class or auditorium.

Plan ahead:

ou have to be ready before giving your point of view. Organize your thoughts in an orderly fashion and list the main points in your head. This would make you stutter less and make you seem more professional as it demonstrates your level of confidence.

Adapting your communication style to your audience:

Different styles of communication are appropriate in different situations. To make the best use of your communication skills, it’s important to consider your audience. And the most effective format to communicate with them in.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”-Anthony Robbins

The most powerful metacognition strategies in reading!

The most powerful metacognition strategies in reading!

Why do we use metacognition strategies in reading?

As a reader, it’s safe to say that absorbing every bit of information from the text you are reading is pretty much impossible. Daily we notice that we find it hard to recall the information we read. And day by day we notice that the information obtained begins to fade away into nothingness. Whether you are a student, a teacher or just a reader, I bet a lot of the times you felt a little lost while reading. Because your mind kept drifting off or perhaps you just couldn’t grasp the idea that the text was delivered. Now your solution to this tiresome problem is metacognition. We are going to be discussing the strategies incorporated when reading later on. As for now, we are going to discuss the reason why metacognition is essential while reading.

The first and somewhat obvious reason is comprehension. Several studies have shown that a student using one or several metacognition techniques was able to comprehend and understand way more than the student who didn’t use any strategies. Hence, comprehension will lead to a deeper understanding of the text allowing people to learn something known as “ construct knowledge” this will then allow them to recognize the variety of metacognition strategies and consequently choose the right tools when they lack understanding.

Another key reason is that these metacognitive strategies would take your thinking into a higher level and engage your brain. When reading or trying to interpret what they are reading, people tend to struggle with the ability to explain what they think, and therefore by implementing these metacognitive strategies you can express yourself clearly and coherently.

What are these metacognition strategies?

  • Word your thoughts out loud while reading.

Thinking out loud would aid you in comprehending the text better. Take this example for instance. When we were in school, teachers always taught us to figure out the meaning of a word through context as they read out loud when a word was foreign to us. The reason they did this is to engage your brains and help you piece together your stray thoughts into one cohesive thought.

  • Reflect on what you are reading

Rather than asking comprehension questions during a reading activity, try asking metacognitive questions. While comprehension questions help you determine whether you understand the material, metacognitive questions help you recognize how they feel about the material.

After every paragraph or page or chapter but the book or text down and allow yourself to simply question it, let the information stir in your mind. 

  • Craft an inner monologue

By having an inner monologue you are simply allowing the information to marinate in your mind. In other words discuss your thoughts with yourself. Ask questions, even the questions you don’t have an answer to.

How to implement these strategies?

  • Planning

Proficient readers plan before reading, and to accomplish this task you must first  learn the steps needed. Through modeling and practice, learn to:

  • Think about the text’s topic.
  • Think about how text features can help in understanding the topic.
  • Read the title and author, front and back cover blurbs, and table of contents.
  • Study illustrations, photos, and graphics, including labels and captions.
  • Skim for boldfaced words, headings and subheadings, and summaries.
  • Think about what you know, and connect dots and figure out what question you want answered.
  •  Study cause and effect
  • Monitoring During Reading

This step is done during reading, in the following ways:

  • while reading asks yourself ‘do I know what is meant by this?’ ‘what is the true meaning behind this?’ 
  • analyze the text by making connections, predictions and identifying text structures and features. 
  • Annotate what you are reading by underlining certain lines and adding comments or questions in the margins or on a sticky note.
  • Evaluating

This step is for when you finish reading, a problem many readers seem to have is a distraction and losing focus. We find ourselves forgetting previous pages we read sometimes while reading and forgetting where a certain character might have appeared previously. To prevent this and ensure we retain all the information we just read, we must reflect on the strategies we used to determine whether our plan worked or whether we should try something else next time. Because this evaluative factor of the metacognitive process is so important.

Sometimes writing summaries of what you just read can be helpful, a fun and simple but effective way to do this is mind mapping your thoughts after you are done with reading

Why Thought Withdrawal is bad for our planet

Why Thought Withdrawal is bad for our planet

What Is Thought Withdrawal?

Thought withdrawal is not a concept that is widely known. However, if you are someone who is trying to pursue thought leadership and cultivating your brain power, then it is something you should be aware about. Over the years of evolution, the human brain has also undergone several changes to be where it is today.

The human brain is an instrument that has been amended over thousands of years. And has reached its current stage through thousands of years of evolution. Human beings have a superior tool. We use our brains to think and cultivate ideas and have been doing so for over millennia. However, in this day and age, we find ourselves becoming complacent.

Instead of churning out new ideas and being the visionaries, we should be because of our capacity to think freely. We have become mere cogs in the wheels of the world. People do not think more than they have to. People actively choose things that require the least amount of effort; we have become creatures of comfort.

And this is precisely why thought withdrawal has started occurring at such a staggering rate. We refuse to think and use our brains to their full potential! We would instead let others think while we use as little brain power as we can, and honestly. It is a shame.

In this day and age, where people consider thinking as a chore. It can be even harder for thought leaders to emerge and prosper. When people are taught not to be inquisitive, to take the easy way out, and look for convenience. They will rarely ever use their brains to think beyond what is the bare necessity for survival.

We heat up the pre-prepared meals, we use our phones to hail a vehicle. We order groceries while sitting in our lounging chairs at home. Everything is there to be as convenient as possible. And this is where thought withdrawal has begun to seep into our everyday lives. We would rather not think and let others do the heavy mental lifting for us.  

Innovations in science do not happen on their own. They too have the genius of thought leaders behind them; people who are not afraid to experiment and think of ideas out of the ordinary. They dared to think beyond what was already there. The ideas which might have been abstract in the beginning but slowly manifested.

If we did not have those who shunned thought withdrawal and actively used their brains to think and ponder over various matters, we would not have succeeded in where we are as a human race. But now, we see that humans are getting to the point of stagnation. We do not see the same level of intellect amongst the masses, the same thirst for knowledge! We need to make sure that we do not get complacent and use our brains to its full potential.

If we don’t, the human race will lose what was solely unique to it! We will lose art, creativity, visionaries, and more. And without that, the human race, on the whole, will lose its soul.

Critical Thinking Skills And How To Develop Them: Answers-to-Questions Of Rejuvenating Thought

In a world where people are encouraged to think as little as possible, in a cultivated culture of convenience. It is necessary to break the mold. The first thing you have to do is unlearn convenience culture.

Once you go on a journey of trying to end thought withdrawal, you will realize just how deeply embedded it was in you without even realizing it. And how it affected your potential so much. You need to stop taking the easy way out, try to solve issues the old fashioned way. You will find that going to a grocery store and looking around and purchasing products physically itself can have a significant effect on your thinking. Being on your own in a new environment as you browse and make decisions is a great way to get the old noggin back in action!

Once you start doing this, you can gradually move on to doing brain teasers and puzzles; these are a great way to get your brain active. Contrary to popular belief, your brain needs just as much exercise as your body does!

Then you can move forward to unleashing your brain’s true potential by trying meditative techniques to control your thinking. Spend a few minutes every day in total silence. And let your mind go blank and slowly come back from that.

Once you start to engage your brain again and give it puzzles to solve, you will find that it will take you to new places and thoughts that you didn’t even realize you could have! The brain has limitless potential. Science has still not been able to figure out just what the brain is capable of, so do not sell yourself short; go the extra mile because you can!