THE COMPONENTS OF ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR Eye Contact: Looking directly at another person when you are speaking is an effective way of declaring that you are sincere about what you are saying, and that it is directed to the listener. Body Posture: The weight of your messages to others will be increased if you face the person, stand or sit appropriately close to h/her, lean toward h/her, hold your head erect. Gestures: A message accented with appropriated gestures takes on an added emphasis (over-enthusiastic gesturing can be distracting). Facial Expression: Effective assertions require an expression that agrees with smiling or laughing. Voice Tone, Inflection, Volume: A whispered monotone will seldom convince a person that you mean business. While a shouted epithet will bring his/her defenses into the communication. A level, wellmodulated conversational statement is convincing without intimidation. Timing: Spontaneous expression will generally be your goal since hesitation may diminish the effect of an assertion. For example, such as speaking to your boss in the privacy of h/his office, rather than in front of a group of subordinates where s/he may need to respond defensively. Content: Although what you say is clearly important, it is often less important than most of us generally believe. We encourage a fundamental honesty in interpersonal communication and spontaneity of expression. However, HONESTY FOR HONESTY SAKE IS WORTHLESS AND DESTRUCTIVE. In our view it is best to say forcefully, “I’m angry about what you just did!” Rather that, “You’re an S.O.B.!” We do encourage you to express you own feelings and to accept responsibility for them. Not the difference in the above example between “I’m angry” and “You’re an S.O.B.” It is not necessary to put the other person down (aggressive) in order to express your feeling/s (assertive). YOU DO NOT ELEVATE SELF BY PUTTINHG SOMEONE ELSE DOWN. REFRAIN FROM USING “NEGATIVES” in the content of your message.