So youíve decided that your emails beating around the bush arenít getting you anywhere and youíre going to have to take a more direct approach, but how do you go about being more assertive in your writing?
The key to understanding how to write more assertively lies in understanding assertiveness itself.
Assertiveness means knowing your rights and the rights of others, being able to say no, being confident enough to have your voice heard
, and seeking win-win solutions to the problems that may arise.
From this we can see that assertive behaviour requires one to be succinct, unambiguous and direct in his or her approach, which is exactly what you need to keep in mind while writing.
Your emails should cover one topic and no more. This helps emphasise the point of your email and avoids the possibility of confusion between topics. Sticking to just one topic also eliminates the chance that the reader reads the first paragraph and skims through the rest, missing important topics as a result.
To help remain unambiguous you should write short sentences in plain language. Long, highly punctuated sentences can confuse the reader and force them to lose interest. Also try to keep each separate thought in your email in a separate paragraph for clarity.
Donít be shy to state how you feel or what you need, and do it up front!
You should start your email by outlining its purpose, whether you are requesting something or declining a request. Ensure that the focus of your email at all times remains on its purpose, or in other words, make sure everything you write is on topic! Be clear about when you need an answer by and be specific about the details of your request.
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Staff Training presents Assertiveness Training nationwide. Email info@StaffTraining.co.za for more information.