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At birth, we began to express our personal needs to those around us, often very directly! While parents and relatives often complied because they were “supposed to,” a more subtle process was at work. At this early stage of our lives, we recognized that these important others felt rewarded by our smiles and felt unhappy or even punished by our tears. We built quickly on this fundamental discovery as our needs became more complex. We learned to state our likes and dislikes more clearly to support our demands. We discovered the value of bargaining and appealing to others’ personal needs in order to meet our own. We learned that it is not always necessary to give reasons for our needs, that it was possible to establish and maintain our rights without constantly having to explain ourselves.

People do not always see the personal side to problems.  They may not understand the personal consequences their actions have for you or the intuitive decisions you must make to solve a problem. An imbalance of power may exist. Arbitrary acts on the part of others may results in personal losses for you;  on other occasions, your actions may cause the person you are trying to influence significant difficulty. Asserting encourages that person to see the personal benefits of working with you and in restoring the balance of power in relationships.

Asserting creates a forum for the exchange of personal information. It is subjective, not objective. Asserting invites the person you are trying to influence to bargain, to join in an exchange to meet the needs of both parties.  Asserting has a positive impact both during and after the influence attempt.

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