Use these 7 words to raise your game
How to use assertive language and add value
There are so many ways to say something and every way means something different to your listener as you say it. Imagine you’re in a meeting and someone asks if anyone is able to take on a new project or put some figures together: you think to yourself, ‘I could probably do that’ but you may sit on that thought and say nothing and wait for someone else to offer or you may put yourself forward. The trick here is, if you do decide to step up and offer, it’s how you put yourself forward.
To use assertive, positive language when you’re going about your business sends a message, very clearly, to those around you that you’re someone who gets on with things and who can be trusted to do things.
A lot of people struggle with the difference between coming across as aggressive instead of assertive. Assertive is ‘self-confident, self-assured, firm’ and aggressive ‘hostile, belligerent, forceful’ and there’s a different energy about the two, of course there is.
As a savvy communicator, you’re going to be far more effective if you come across as clear, firm and self-confident as you go about your business, rather than belligerent or, almost worse, wishy-washy using indecisive language. It casts doubt.
You could offer to help on this new project in so many ways and depending on how you say it, your message lands differently:
- ‘I suppose I could do it’ – I suppose meaning I might be able to, if pushed. I could meaning I can, but I’m not saying I will.
- ‘I might have some capacity to do it’ – I might doesn’t mean to say I will
- ‘I’ve got enough on my plate’ – unhelpful, defensive
- ‘I’ll try to do it’ – I might be able to do it but I’m not really sure I’ll be able to
- ‘Leave it with me. I’ll do it.’ – I’m able to do it and I will do it. 7 words for you to simply step up and own the next move.
We all know which one of those simple phrases gives the most reassurance, give the most credibility and which one you’d want to hear if you were asking for help. There’s a completely different energy about the last phrase – you can feel that the person saying it is capable and certain. Being more assertive as you respond is a game-changer. It positions you with other people as someone with confidence in their abilities, someone who can get things done, who gets put forward for interesting projects, promotions, and then gets promoted.
Those 7 words ‘Leave it with me. I’ll do it’ will raise your game. Hedging your bets with ‘might be able to’ will only put doubt in other people’s minds about whether you will or won’t and whether you’re capable.
When you put yourself forward to do things you become someone who offers time, help and input, and to make it most effective for you use assertive, positive language. Leave as little doubt in people’s minds as possible as you add as much value as possible. I’ll leave that with you.
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