Have you ever decided to let someone go down the wrong path because you were afraid of how people would look at you for disagreeing?
You are not alone
The issue of being assertive is one that many people struggle with in the workplace.
Assertiveness is an extremely beneficial leadership characteristic to have, and these benefits extend to the workplace. For example, being assertive can lead to improved job satisfaction, improve your decision making skills, and help you to gain confidence and self-esteem. However, many people find it very difficult to be assertive. Thankfully, there are ways in which you can conquer your fears and become more assertive, thereby boosting your chances of success within the workplace.
Here are seven helpful tips on being more assertive:
#1. Practice being assertive
By constantly looking for situations where you can practice being assertive, you will be able to bring out your assertive behaviour whenever the need arises. Because assertiveness is a skill that can be developed, by practicing you further strengthen your assertive attitude. For example, practice with a friend or by yourself in front of a mirror, paying special attention to your body language and vocal tone. Through practice, you will be able to feel more comfortable and be able to be assertive in the workplace without experiencing stress or other related negative emotions that often come with the idea of being assertive.
#2. Make a plan/have a script
Don’t just try to be assertive spontaneously – instead, plan ahead for situations where you can be assertive. Figure out exactly what you intend to say and how you are going to deliver your assertive language and behaviour. By already knowing what you are going to say and how you will say it, you will be more likely to keep an assertive frame of mind and ensure that your assertive message is delivered as effectively as possible.
#3. Pick your battles
Don’t look to be assertive all the time. There may be instances where assertiveness simply does not fit into that particular situation. Instead, pick your battles wisely and choose to be assertive when the situation allows for it and in a situation where your assertiveness will likely to pay off. Concentrate on being assertive on issues that truly matter to you and avoid constantly making a fuss. By doing so, you will seem far more reasonable and level headed when you do display assertive behaviours.
#4. Use positive body language
It is very important to use positive body language when being assertive. By using positive body language, you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your assertive message and ensure that what you are saying is interpreted in the correct manner. Maintaining eye contact, monitoring your voice tone, and keeping an upright posture are all types of positive body language that will assist you in coming across as more assertive.
#5. Control your emotions
Controlling your emotions is important in striking the right balance of being assertive. Being too emotional will lead to your message not being effective. If you do find yourself getting too emotional, take a time out and respectfully ask to be excused, or take slow and relaxing breathes in order to calm your emotions.
#6. Learn to say no
Learning to say no to unreasonable requests is an important part of being assertive. By saying no to unreasonable requests, you are then teaching others limits and boundaries for the types of behaviour to expect from you. As a result, people will be more likely to respect you for being upfront and assertive. Learn to say no without feeling guilty and do not apologise for standing up for yourself.
#7. Be direct and clear
When being assertive, it is important to be direct and clear on the issue being discussed. By being clear about what is being discussed, you can avoid confusion and make sure that you don’t appear to be overly passive, ensuring that your message is delivered with maximum efficiency.
Have you any additional tips for being assertive at work? Why not leave a comment.