Following on from yesterday's 'Broken record' technique - today's tip is best used when you are having a 'conversation' with someone who is behaving in an aggressive way.
When someone is communicating aggressively, they usually want you to respond in an aggressive way in order to escalate the situation. It is vital, therefore, that you do not do this. (Unless you want a full scale fight). It's much better to use a technique known as 'fogging', which allows you to stay in control and hopefully diffuse the situation.
To be able to pull this off, you need to find a small part of their argument to agree with, this is likely to be the last thing that they are expecting and something that can totally wrong foot them.
The Boss - "Why don't you ever work late? You clearly have no interest in your job and this company."
You - "It is true, I rarely work late. I work extremely hard on the management of my time to make sure that I meet all of the tasks I am set within my agreed working hours. This allows me to spend quality time with my family as well as doing my job to the best of my ability."
If you are being criticised, it may help to agree with some of the probability that's often stated.
Mother - "If you don't get more sleep, you are going to make yourself ill and lose your job."
You - "You're right I may become ill."
I mentioned body language yesterday, another ingredient needed to be successfully assertive, is demonstrating that you are listening to the other party, such as nodding and using interjections to show you are paying attention and understanding.
As I have said previously, maintain eye contact, appearing interested and alert (even if you aren't). Don't stare though, that can just make you look scary!
Tomorrow, we will look in more detail at the 'Five Stages of Being Assertive' and begin to think more about some of the phrases we might actually use.