Is timidity in the way? 
Timidity can feel like a major obstacle to overcome. The good news is that assertiveness is a skill that can be learned. Here's a good place to start.

Written By Robert E Logan

Christian Coaching Pioneer, Strategic Ministry Catalyst, Resource Developer, Empowering Consultant : Logan Leadership

How many times have you had a client come up with a good idea for intervening in a problem only for them to think, “But I could never say that!” They don’t want to cause conflict. They don’t want to be disliked. They don’t want to alienate people they will need to continue to work with in the future. So they hold it in and say nothing. Yet they still feel it. Timidity is standing in the way of resolution, action, even goals. How long do you think that will work well? 

Eventually, against everyone’s best intentions, emotions will come out sideways. Your client will begin avoiding people, or saying passive aggressive things, or making snide comments. Everyone around them will feel it but may not know why. This whole environment of tension could have been avoided if your client had found some way to say what they thought. 

From Timidity to Assertiveness

overcoming timidity

The key is assertiveness. Assertiveness is saying what you want in an appropriate way. It’s the happy medium between aggression and passivity, and it’s almost always the best choice for communication when someone senses a problem. 

Risks, Rights, Rewards Exercise

A key concept to address when timidity becomes problematic is confidence. Instead of a ‘Just do it’ attitude, it’s best to build confidence by gently pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. It helps to list out uncomfortable situations and rehearse why it’s important to address them.

Risks

We aren’t talking skydiving or putting that bully in his place. Nothing dangerous, just a list of little things that you’ve wanted to address but timidity got in the way. Examples could be saving a seat in a movie theater, asking a stranger for directions, introducing yourself to someone you admire, or declining that invitation. 

Rights

Now make a list of rights that seem to apply to everyone else but somehow you feel exempt. For example, you have a right to be seen and heard, to be treated with respect, to change your mind, to prioritize your needs… 

Rewards

Now follow it through by connecting the risks with the likely outcome of responding in polite but firm assertiveness. What happens when you introduce yourself to that person you admire? Brainstorm how you can approach this situation the next time it comes up with a coach or close friend. Find words that feel natural and try them out in low-stakes environments. 

There’s Much More to Assertiveness

There are two basic stages of teaching assertiveness skills in a coaching relationship. The first part is willingness. It involves validating their ideas, helping them build confidence, considering their options, and just generally bringing them to a point where they are willing to take risks. No one can make anyone else be assertive. They have to choose to take that road. 

The second part is strategy. Once your client has decided they are willing to have an assertive conversation with someone, you can come up with a good plan together. What exactly do they want to communicate? How do they want to approach the other person? How can they most effectively appeal to the other person? What kind of reasoning should they use? 

If you want to help your clients work on their assertiveness skills, we have a coaching guide designed to help you do just that. It will guide you through these eleven steps as you work with your clients: 

  1. Define your problem situation
  2. Check the gap and the context 
  3. Build your confidence 
  4. Prepare a script 
  5. Rehearse 
  6. Set the scene 
  7. Monitor the situation 
  8. Communicate assertively 
  9. Formalize your agreement 
  10. Evaluate your own performance 
  11. Learn and become stronger 

Resources

The Resource Zone Assertiveness Skills Coaching Guide provides coaching questions and notes for each of these eleven steps. Help your clients take the steps they want to take so they can experience forward movement toward their goals. 

In between coaching sessions, the Assertiveness Skill Builder is a fantastic resource to help your client work on putting timidity aside in favor of polite and effective assertiveness. In fact, the Risks, Rights, Rewards exercise above was adapted from this Skill Builder!

NOTE: Link go to loganleadership.com

Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Michael Afonso on Unsplash

Simple Ministry Assessment

Your clients have plans and systems in place. The big question: Are they working? Help the ministry leaders you coach take a clear-eyed snapshot of where their ministry current is while creating action items with this simple ministry assessment.

What is your vision to cultivate leaders?

Every church should have a leadership development system. Even if that system is currently working, it needs to be assessed regularly to meet changing needs. Here are the basics that every leadership development system should have…

How to connect with high-level leaders

You want to build your coaching business but you don’t want to feel like a salesperson working on commission. The good news is: you don’t need to work up a semi-uncomfortable sales pitch and practice delivering it. Here’s what to do instead…

Get your clients ready for change

You are coaching change leaders, people who need to get others on board and growing toward to what’s next. Here’s a simple way to gauge the level of receptivity for change and discover the way forward.

What is the best way to turn a corner? 

The ultimate goal of coaching is to help clients change their lives for the better and grow personally and in their ministries. As you help people prepare for what’s next, it’s important to help them slow down, assess and adjust so they can round the next corner with confidence. Here’s how…

You can effectively coach clients through change

How change REALLY happens—and what you as a coach can do to facilitate healthy, effective change for your clients.

Coaching for healthy work/life balance

Most people you coach don’t suffer from laziness.  Your clients live life in the margins.  When push comes to shove they sacrifice their health (spiritual, mental, physical) in their efforts to lead well.

Ready to grow your coaching business?

Want to grow your coaching business? Here are 5 Steps to get you (and keep you) on track.

Planning for 2024? We are too.

You are a forward-thinking coach and you are likely in visioning mode for 2024. What issues will those you coach be facing? What will they need from you? How can you be best prepared to serve them? 

Top Ten Coaching Blog Posts of 2023

Looking back at the posts that you engaged with the most in 2023. It’s an insightful peek into what matters most to YOU, which helps to direct us in how to continue to offer you resources and solutions in 2024.