The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said – Peter F. Drucker
When the time comes for you to be assertive in person, preparing for the situation will help you conquer any fears and get your message across.
Think about what you want to say and how you are going to say it. You may find it useful to prepare a script of the main points you want to raise. Be aware of body language. Look at people who have the level of assertiveness and confidence you admire. Model yourself on them, look at how they use body language to help support their communication skills. Stand in front of a mirror and act out the situation. It may feel a bit odd, however it will help you later when you are putting your new found skills into practice.
As you stand in front of a mirror, practice what you want to say and anticipate probable responses. Practice will make you feel more comfortable and confident when you approach the person in a real meeting.
When you feel you are prepared, walk out of that comfort zone. Be confident in meeting that important person and put everything you have learned. Take a deep breath and start making your points.
Speak slowly and clearly. Do not mumble and dash through your prepared script. Your notes are just there to keep you focused and to help you remember important points. Do not just read it; let it be your guide to what you want to say.
Listen and graciously allow the other person to respond now and then. He may want to discuss certain points and negotiate with you about your needs. Hopefully, you will reach an agreement at the end of the meeting. If this is not the case, allow him time to think. He may need to consider all you have said before making a final decision. It is okay to give him time to think. Pushing him to make a snap decision could work against you.
If it goes as well as you had hoped, you will feel a sense of elation and excitement. If you achieved your goal, you should definitely celebrate. You stepped outside your comfort zone and did something you have never done before. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Your confidence level just jumped several points and you probably feel like you could take on the world.
When another time comes, allowing you to jump out of the comfort zone and display your newly acquired skills of assertiveness, remember this day and remind yourself, “I did it before and I can do it again.” The first time is always the most difficult and each succeeding time will get easier and easier.