Being assertive at work can be really hard, and this is something many people struggle with. Our insecurities, perceived weaknesses, motivations and goals can all stop us from being assertive when we need to be. In this article, Charlotte Scott explains why we need assertiveness, what it actually is, and how to be assertive.
How To Be Assertive at Work in 7 Steps (With Tips)
Assertiveness is one of the skills that can help you advance your career and achieve the professional goals that you want. Using the right amount of assertiveness in the workplace makes it easier to negotiate a salary, earn a promotion and build long-lasting relations with your co-workers. Some people are naturally assertive, but you can also learn to be assertive over time, so knowing what steps to take to be assertive is the key to success. In this article, we share how to be assertive at work in seven steps and explore how using it can help you succeed professionally.
Assertiveness is a key communication skill that allows you to speak openly about yourself, your goals, opinions and ideas without worrying about what others might think about it. Being assertive is therefore having the confidence to express yourself freely and taking care of your personal and professional needs while staying respectful and appropriate. This skill is especially useful in the workplace. Assertive employees are typically more focused on accomplishing their goals and can easily say ‘no’ to things that limit their growth without feeling guilty.
Being assertive can help you better guide your career because it allows you to focus on your goals, talk openly about your plans, ask for help when you need it and recognise when someone’s taking advantage of you in the workplace. Here are seven steps that can get you closer to becoming more assertive at work:
1. Work on your confidence
Learning how to be self-confident is an essential step in developing assertiveness because it makes it easier for you to advocate your ideas and opinions if you’re not satisfied with the ideas of others. When you’re confident, it’s easier to receive criticism because you’re not as tempted to take things personally. A proven technique to become more confident is looking back at your accomplishments and analysing them to see how your skills, experience and knowledge helped you achieve those things. This also allows you to learn more about yourself and your goals.
How to be Assertive in a Relationship
Being assertive in a relationship is not that easy. However, it is a technique that could be learned. Evolving assertiveness in oneself could be started by a good understanding of yourself and the beliefs you value. With these simple steps, you can build the basis of self-confidence. Assertiveness not only builds your self-confidence but also provides various other perks for refining your relationship at the office as well as other spectrums of life.
People with an assertive personality manage to get what they want at work. Assertive personalities will speak out and ensure that they are heard. While the assertive people who could not communicate confidentially or hesitate in stating their point often fall to the curb. Their points are out sided as they are observed as uncategorized, weak, and uncertain.
Assertive personality workers try to be assertive but end up being aggressive while keeping their point, while others go to the other end of the side completely. Hence, it is very important to manage the assertive personality in yourself so that you could stand out amongst such colleagues and depict better skills of professionalism. It is imperative that you be assertive personality without going overboard or without being feared.
Assertive personality is a technique of speaking the truth to get what you want while exhibiting a confident and reliable professional image. The task is not simple, but by following a few methods, you can learn to be assertive as well as professional. In the present day work life, we juggle deadlines, multiple projects, changing priorities, constant interruptions in the assertive personality, and fewer resources. According to the recent assertive personality, people face difficulty in negotiating limits on their workload, specifically when the request is impossible or unreasonable. While some have difficulties in giving feedback without forming disharmony in their working relationships.
Situation: It’s Time for a Raise, But Your Boss Isn’t Making Any Moves
After asking for a raise during a check-in with your boss, she says that [you’ll have to wait at least another six months](https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-stay-motivated-when-youre-not-getting-a-raise]. The company’s just not able to give raises right now, but she assures you your performance is such that you’ll be considered for a salary bump when the time is right.
Passive Approach: You swallow your disappointment and nervously utter, “Oh, that’s fine—no problem,” to assuage the awkwardness of the situation. But later, you go home and complain about it for hours, because you feel it’s completely unjust.
Aggressive Approach: After being told you’ll need to wait for a raise, you inform your boss that you’re going to begin to look for opportunities elsewhere—where someone will treat you like you deserve to be treated.
Assertive Approach: Because you respect yourself and your need to be compensated fairly as much as you want to understand your boss’ reasoning, you don’t let your bruised ego get the best of you and lash out. Instead, you ask for more clarity on the company’s future and define tangible goals and targets that you can review when you revisit your salary request down the road.
In the assertive approach, you’re showing resilience by responding in a proactive, future-oriented manner, signaling maturity, level-headedness, and a commitment to the company.
Some additional tips you should consider while learning to be assertive at work.
So it is clearly evident that you could manage to get what you want at your workplace by simply bringing assertive change in your behavior and way of speaking. Just work on your assertive skills and make time to time modifications in the manner you keep your point in your work. This small step could benefit you in several ways of building your career and work relationship.
This is a guide How to be Assertive at Work. Here we have discussed the 9 most important skills of assertive at your work with some additional tips. You may also read about assertive personality-
How to be assertive in five steps:
- Be curious about the other person’s point of view. Even if they are not acting professionally, they will have reasons for their behaviour or opinion. Ask open questions and really listen to understand what they have to say. If people are being unreasonable, listening to their needs and expectations can be really challenging. But if you ensure they feel listened to and respected, the conversation can shift to a more positive dialogue.
- Speak up and express yourself. People can’t read your mind, so be honest and specific. Use “I” language to avoid sounding critical. For example: “I have another suggestion” rather than “You’re wrong”. Or “I noticed the deadline wasn’t met” instead of “You didn’t meet the deadline”. If you have a hard time turning down requests, learn to say no, not yet, or not now. Saying no is not selfish, it shows you are able to prioritise and can set healthy limits. Remember, every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. Saying no therefore also enables you to say yes to the things that matter most. Explain your perspective and ask for help if needed. Keep any explanations short and simple.
- Watch your tone: It not just what you say but how you say it. Keep your tone of voice and body language open and warm. You don’t want your message to get lost because people are reacting to your delivery. We read a great deal into the way something is said, not just the words people use. When you are preparing for an assertive interaction, think ahead about your body language and how you can show you are OK and so are they. Pay particular attention to your facial expressions, arms and posture.
- Think win-win: don’t assume the other person is aiming to undermine or belittle you. Even if they are, don’t sink to their level, don’t treat them badly, and don’t withdraw from the conversation. Build on their ideas rather than dismissing them. Offer potential solutions and ask the other person to help you shape an answer that works for both of you. Work together on the challenge or issue, exploring it from all sides, finding common ground and a way forward that deals with both of your concerns.
- Respond, don’t react: if you find yourself feeling strong and unhelpful emotions in an interaction, it can be really hard to stay assertive. Take a deep breath, pause and think. Your feelings and emotions are entirely valid, however assertiveness means not allowing those feelings to drive your behaviour.