When you speak, are you attractive enough to listen to?

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If you want to get heard, you need to understand that people listen when they find you attractive- Interpersonally attractive. 

They then feel instinctively compelled to connect with you. It has little to do with your clothes, your hair, or your qualifications. It has a lot to do with your ability to build rapport, to build real relationship and attraction between you.

So how do you influence people to really hear you.

It is about style – your style of speaking, and also your style of listening. People are attracted to the style or habits of assertive communicators. If you speak assertively, you say what you think, or feel, or want- while at the same time respecting the rights of other people to be different / or the same, as they choose.

It is enjoyable to listen to an “assertive” speaker. There is an immediate sense of an adult-to-adult relationship: respectful of differences; and engaging in collaborative or cooperative problem solving. It is about mutual benefit.

Contrast this with a “passive” or aggressive” communicator.  Passive people say “don’t you think that…”, or “wouldn’t you say that…”, or “maybe we should…”. This style of communication is a sneaky way of saying something without taking any responsibility for it. People intuitively understand this as not an open, honest way of relating. Someone is being set up to win and somebody else to lose.

Aggressive ways of speaking create competition.  Aggressive people do not necessarily shout or look intimidating, it is the style of speech that is a win/lose in its nature:  For example; “you should…”, “we must…”, “the fact is …”, “the research shows…”. Each of these statements positions the talker as somehow superior to you. Again, there is a hierarchy of right/wrong or good/bad. There is a parent-child interaction, which is the opposite of collaborative problem solving for mutual benefit.

To be “attractive” to others, be assertive and say say “I think, feel, believe…”, or “my view is…”, so that people know that you acknowledge what you are saying is about you, and they can get to know you, without the pressure of having to agree to an uneven power relationship of some kind.

In essence, an aggressive style of communication says “I win, you lose”, passive techniques say “I lose, you win (and I may pay you back later for that)”.   Assertive communication says “I have a view or a position, and I am aware you may have yours”.  Assertive communication sends an energy of respect for differences.  It begins the engagement to find solutions that work for both of us.

It is commonly accepted that there are three stages to being an assertive communicator: I teach it as WhatTellAction. In my experience most of us have poor unconscious habits in one or more of the steps.

What – Work out what your position or needs are. Get in touch with your values or beliefs first. This also includes having multiple views simultaneously or being undecided. It is your assertive right to do this.

Tell – Say so owning your own position. Start your sentences with “I…” or “my…”, “I feel…”, “I believe…”, “I think…”, “my view…”.

Action – And finally, be prepared to take action yourself to get your own needs met. Knowing what you think and saying so assertively, will not be enough. To be effective within yourself, you need to take action afterwards to meet your own needs.

For example: You want to go for a walk in a forest this weekend with your partner and afterwards to have lunch before you drive home. It isn’t enough to simply say that is what you would like (or to keep saying it)? Your partner has a perfect right not to want to do those activities this weekend. It is their assertive right to prefer lying on the couch and watching movies. They are allowed this (even if they married you).

If you want to do something, you are ultimately the person responsible for making your own happiness.   In this example, you need to go with yourself or with somebody else.

Living or working with an assertive person is a pleasure. This person can get in touch with their needs and beliefs, will say so openly and honestly, and will take action to fulfill their own requirements. They don’t blame you, deny their part in things, justify their own ineffectiveness, or give up on you or the issue. People who speak assertively are clearly taking responsibility for their choices, actions, and consequences.

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