There have been many times I know my husband Mike thought I was from a different planet, speaking an alien language trying to communicate what I thought I meant… he didn’t get it.
I have learned to be specific and that I get much more help if I say to Mike, “will you please help with the laundry by putting the clothes in the dryer?” As opposed to yelling upstairs- “the laundry is ready.” My family knows that when the business line rings. I will disappear out to the office so that I can have quiet.
There are times when I choose not to answer it if my family is in the middle of something and let it go to voicemail. However if I’m expecting a call, they know the drill.
I’ve often had to work through the rolling of my daughter’s eyes…teenagers can be so condemning with just a look.
We are always communicating. We usually make a point of sitting down for meals together so that we can share what is happening in our lives. We set goals together and choose something fun that we will do with the profits when our goal is reached. We have set many simple goals that were short-term, and we have set some long range mouthwatering goals that I can’t wait to achieve. Some goals we have missed and simply reset. This is a part of any business.
I often get great ideas from both Mike, my daughter Megan or my family and my friends. Since time is a limited resource, I have to be willing to ask for help. I like to spend my time resources, in the most productive manner. I have learned to face the fact that I can’t do everything. Hopefully, so will you. Get out your priority list again to
find and explore your options.
Barbara was having a hard time asking for help. She had four small children and had just started her own home-based business because she didn’t want to turn over the full-time care of her children to someone else. She had to explore some other options like having a sitter come over to her home occasionally or sharing part-time
childcare with another home-based parent.
She learned to plan her client meetings for work during those hours when her children were taken care of and they would not be a distraction. She hired a college student majoring in accounting to help with her bookkeeping. She has trained her older children to help with the younger children, which gives her time slots to be on the phone working on business.
Help is out there; ask for it.
Jamie was having a hard time communicating to her family as well as her support team in her home based business. Whenever she felt stressed, she reacted poorly. She could not get a handle on how to move beyond this behavior. Here are some tips that helped Jamie.
Tip One: Speak Immediately
When giving an assertive message it is important to speak about the topic you are concerned with while it is actually occurring or as close to it as courteously possible. This helps keep the flow of communication relevant. If you wait for hours, days or weeks to approach the problem situation, you may experience increased stress and sleepless nights as you brood over the matter. So aim to resolve the problem situation as close to when it is occurring as possible.
Tip Two: Be Direct
It is important to realize that the situation you are in is primarily affecting you in a negative manner. The other person may have no qualms about the situation. In fact, they may not know or even care that their actions are affecting you. You will need to state the problem to them directly. Provide them with an example of the annoying action or behavior. Further, to help resolve the problem, it is best to suggest some alternative action that they may take or directly ask them to stop the offending behavior.
Tip Three: Be Pleasant
When you communicate an assertive message to another person, you are asking them to stop performing some annoying behavior or action and instead to do something less obtrusive. If you present in a manner that they perceive to be hostile, it is very likely that the other party will get defensive. This may precipitate a nasty and avoidable scene turning your assertive message into an argument!
Instead, take a deep breath, think it through and find a pleasant posture. This will help you frame what you need to say in the right manner and your delivery is more likely to be accepted.
Tip four: Keep Calm
The main risk in giving an assertive message is facing the resistance of the other party. Occasionally the other party may take offense at what you are presenting, or resist without apparent reason. In these situations, it is important to maintain your composure. If you act offensively, they will not want to help you. Make up your mind to keep
composed even if there is resistance and repeat your assertive message in a different way until it is accepted.
Jamie has taken these tips to heart and feels she is a better communicator today as a result. She has experienced increased confidence and other people are responding better to her requests.