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Do your friends and family think you're wishy-washy? Being assertive through language doesn't come naturally to everyone. Unassertive people often rely on hedging words and phrases that make what they say less definitive and less direct.
Instead of saying, "The solution is…" you might soften the sentence to "I think the solution is…. Kristie Wirth is an associate data scientist at Zapier. Soon after she joined the company, she took a workplace assessment and scored 10 out of 99 on assertiveness.
She decided to do something about it.
I'm moving up, career-wise, and I want the way I communicate to reflect that. All those factors led Kristie to start brainstorming ways she could make her language more assertive. Her solution was to set up the Mac productivity app Alfred to automatically delete or rewrite non-assertive words and phrases when she types them to make her word choices more assertive.
It not only made everything she wrote more direct, but also helped her spot where she could write with more authority and confidence. She calls the final product "assertiveness snippets.
It underlines words and phrases in Gmail that potentially diminish the message you're writing. But Kristie didn't want to be limited to Gmail. Typically, people use text expanders to auto-type long strings of text that they commonly use, such as company boilerplate.
Or, you can set it up so that if you type "my contact info," it replaces that text with your name, email address, and phone number. In Kristie's case, she uses Alfred's text expander function to automatically change or delete certain words and phrases that she finds undermine her assertiveness.
A few examples are: Does that make sense? I will try becomes I will stupid question becomes question In my opinion is deleted sort of is deleted After creating these snippets, Kristie learned that language isn't cut and dry, and it took some trial and error to get her snippets to work the way she wanted them to.
For example, "sort of" could make Kristie sound unassertive in some contexts, but in others, it's a necessary phrase that doesn't diminish her authority at all. Similarly, she originally had the phrase "I think" in her snippets, because she wanted to avoid writing, "I think I know the answer" and instead use more assertive phrases such as "I expect" or "I suspect.
She's revised her snippets to now flag some of the phrases rather than automatically replacing or deleting them. So, when she types "I think," Alfred now adds a question mark next to it. It flags the language as potentially unassertive, which still brings it to Kristie's attention, and that's the result she wanted.
Spread the Love Kristie came up with her assertiveness project for herself, but she ultimately chose to share them with a women's Slack channel at Zapier. That's where I learned about it.
I thought, hey, if at least one person finds this interesting, then I bet people in this channel would love it. Below are instructions for using Alfred to make your writing more assertive. You can use the snippets Kristie created, create your own, or riff on the idea to suit your needs.
Alfred serves a variety of functions, from giving you the power to customize hotkeys to offering text expansionwhich is what Kirstie uses to write more assertively. As mentioned, you can replicate a similar setup using any text expander of your choice; for example, if you use Windows, PhraseExpress is a decent option.
Once you have Alfred installed and the Power Pack license activated, download the snippet set.
Alternatively, you can create your own. Open Alfred's Preferences from the menu bar.
In the Preferences panel top menu, choose Features. Along the left side, choose Snippets.Giving up. In a wonderful post about 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic, Rand Fishkin ends with the tactic of being caninariojana.com points out that the SEOmoz blog, his personal blog, and his wife’s popular Everywhereist blog didn’t really take off until two years had gone by..
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