Being More Assertive describes how prepared you are to stand up for your opinions when someone else wants different outcomes (Ames, Lee, & Wazlawek, 2017).
In a competitive environment, it is possible for you to sometimes feel the disconnect between how you feel and how you communicate and voice the thoughts out.
People struggle with being able to effectively say what they need to say or make a difference. Despite listening to different confidence speeches, you sometimes might feel that though you know everything about how to achieve something, you just can't find a way to explain yourself to those you work with or your team members.
Speaking out and standing up for your values even when you often feel scared to talk or when others try to undermine you helps you to not only earn others’ respect, but it’s a way of making you appear confident and able to set clear professional boundaries within the workplace.
Assertive behaviour is key when it comes to pursuing your goals and meeting objectives in the workplace. Unlike other forms of communication, it’s considered a healthy and diplomatic way of expressing yourself and one that can boost your career.
It’s also an essential tool within management and leadership, it helps you deal with difficult or challenging behaviour from those who work within your team. Being assertive can also help you behave more professionally and has even been proven to help you perform better within your role.
Why Do You Need To Be More Assertive?
There are several benefits of being assertive but one of the most important is that it helps you become more self-confident. Being assertive also benefits you in the following ways:
- Makes you a better manager
- Helps your recognize your opposition’s stand faster and helps you find a common ground easily
- Motivates you to be more relentless in finding solutions
- It helps you become less anxious
How Can You Become More Assertive.
1. Value Yourself and Your Rights
To be more assertive, you need to take time to understand yourself better and know who you are, what you stand for and your role in the organization.
Believing in yourself forms a solid foundation for self-confidence and assertive behavior. It will help you to recognize that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, give you the confidence to stick up for your rights and protect your boundaries.
2. Speak Out with Confidence
You surely cannot expect that other people are the ones who would keep finding out what you want or keep asking you about your ideas. You need to step out of your shell and speak boldly.
It is also important that whatever you want to say has been carefully processed so you don't turn out to be speaking something irrelevant. When you're sure of what you want to say then let nothing stop you to speak out.
Your confidence level is what compels people to listen to you because when you're confident in what you're saying it sends a message to people that you're sure and that you can be trusted.
It also applies to when you need something from your colleagues or bosses. You have to have first made sure you need what you want to ask for and why you need it, if you can answer those questions of what and why then you confidently make it known.
3. Acknowledge That You Can't Control Other People's Behaviour
One mistake we make is that we assume that we can control everyone's behaviours. You cannot determine how people around you would respond to your assertiveness, some may find it not good enough or some may see you as opposing their authority or threatening them.
The way people deal with your assertiveness doesn't matter to you because you can only control how you behave.
If things do not go in the way you intend then don't be alarmed, you just need to revisit what you've done and find out how to make things better. And also, when you get good responses you mustn't be carried away. You just need to work better on yourself no matter the responses you get.
4. Be Positive When Expressing Yourself
It's important to say what's on your mind, even when you have a difficult or negative issue to deal with. But you must do it constructively and sensitively.
The idea of being confident doesn't give you the chance to say or do anything you like. Don't ever try to wish for the worst, be confident of what you're capable of and be positive.
5. Be Open to Criticisms and Compliments But Be Always Ready To Say No
Sometimes people would critique you for your work and for people like that be appreciative of them but those that criticize, take it with a heart that they're pointing out things you need to work more on. It might come to you to doubt those that compliment you that they might not have the noblest of thoughts behind the compliment. Even if they don't, don't bask in that for too long but be ready to do more and improve.
Also, learning to say no doesn't mean you start proving difficult to deal or work with. Saying no might include saying no to extra work or something outside your purview. It might be hard to say no when you're used to people dumping their work on you but it's an active step to take because you cannot do everything.
By saying no you're helping yourself to save more time and more energy and it ensures that you don't waste your time on things that are not productive for you.
When you want to say no, try to find a solution that's a win-win for everyone.
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