Learning to be assertive at work is an important skill to have as it can help you communicate your needs, express your ideas and opinions, and stand up for yourself in a professional setting.
Not speaking up in the workplace can lead to burnout, stress, and less chance of promotion and career growth. Here are things you need to know how to be assertive at work.
How To Be Assertive at Work
Being assertive means asking for your needs, talking openly and with confidence, and recognizing when someone is taking advantage of you. However, it takes practice to master the art of assertiveness. At the same time, respecting the rights of others.
Assertiveness is important to help you earn the respect you deserve. It also helps improve your self-esteem, and lessen anxiety and stress. How you respect others and avoid conflicts as much as possible is a reflection of self-respect, because respect should be a two-way street.
Being a good leader requires assertiveness as well. Being one is already challenging as you would want to uphold the office laws and treat the employees fairly, and be a respected leader at the same time.
To become assertive, you should learn to respect yourself and your capabilities, and develop your communication skills. Here are some tips to help you be more assertive in your career:
Know your worth
Before you can be assertive, you need to know what you bring to the table. Take some time to identify your strengths, skills, and accomplishments, and use this information to build your confidence.
If you have an idea or suggestion, share it with your colleagues or manager. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek clarification if you don’t understand something.
Be confident in yourself and your abilities. It’s okay to make mistakes, and use any feedback you receive to improve and grow. Knowing your worth is the first major step toward effective assertiveness.
Use “I” instead of “you”
When expressing your thoughts or feelings, use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. For example, say “I feel that…” instead of “You’re making me feel…”
Using this technique won’t make the other person feel he or she is being put in a spotlight. At the same time, you learn to take accountability of your actions and make it seem like you are willing to fix and resolve things with the other person.
Practice active listening
When communicating with others, make an effort to listen actively and understand their perspective. This will help you build stronger relationships and make it easier to collaborate with others. People will also trust you more because they know you actually listen to them in an emphatic way.
If you feel that your workload is too heavy or you’re being asked to do something outside of your job description, speak up and set boundaries. Let your manager or colleagues know what you can realistically accomplish and when.
Be aware of the things you are entitled to in the office. Read through the employee handbook or your job description details. That ways, you will know if your boundaries are already being violated and decide whether you have to speak up for your rights. Knowledge is power and can help save the day.
Be assertive, not aggressive
These are two different things. Many people are scared to speak up as they don’t want to be branded as bossy or disrespectful. Rather, being assertive is having the right to voicing out your thoughts, respecting others’ opinions, and avoiding being a pushover.
Aggressiveness, on the other hand, does not respect other people’s feelings and lives on the “me” attitude. Always looking to debate with others and reacting angrily if a person does not agree with what you say.
People have varying opinions, and you have to respect that. It is not all the time things go your way. However, it doesn’t mean you do not fight for your right anymore by speaking what you have in mind.
All it takes is by mastering the art of assertiveness. You don’t have to start a fight or debate to prove a point. You would want to be heard and respected by many at the same time.
Practicing to become more assertive in your career and improve your communication skills in the workplace will boost your confidence and self-esteem, and help in achieving your goals in no time!