Chapter 10

Assert Yourself

Gaining Commitment, Providing Feedback, and Delivering Difficult News

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

—Benjamin Franklin

 

We all want something as a result of our persuasive communication—a teenager wants to stay out past the parental curfew, a coach wants the team to stop making mistakes, an insurance sales rep wants you to renew your policy—and none of these things can be accomplished without assertiveness. Identifying an objective and knowing what you want is usually the easy part, but as the cartoonist Walt Kelly once put it: “It is not enough for things to be planned, they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation.”1 Translation: you ...

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