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How to be more Assertive at Work

Who has confidence in himself will gain the confidence of others. Leib Lazarow

Have you ever wished that you could be more assertive at work? Maybe you wish you had the courage to stand up for your out-of-the-box idea in an exec meeting. Or known what to say during a difficult conversation rather than remaining silent. On the other end of the scale, perhaps you wish that you could get your message across without making people feeling intimidated or being perceived as 'aggressive'.

Developing the skill set that allows us to be assertive and self-confident is something that will not only create a positive impact within ourselves but also upon the people around us. This is especially true during times of crisis or change!

An assertive person is confident and direct when communicating with other people. Assertive communication is not aggressive, but rather promotes fairness and equality. Assertive behaviour includes the ability to stand up for legitimate rights - without violating the rights of others or being overly fearful in the process.

"The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behaviour affect the rights and well-being of others." Sharon Anthony Bower

Most importantly, assertiveness is based on a positive sense of respect for yourself and for others.

Feeling unworthy and / or being unsure of how to express our self-worth when communicating, can not only invoke the criticism of others but also make our own lives very painful.

But what exactly is assertiveness, and why is it a desirable skill to have?

Assertiveness is a communication style. It is being able to effectively and efficiently express our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions in an open manner without violating the rights of others. Assertive people are self-confident, they have a sense of believe in themselves, their abilities and they trust their own judgement.

Here's the best news - assertiveness is absolutely a skill that can be learned and developed! In this article, we're sharing with you the 3 key personal skills you need to increase assertiveness in your work and life.

#1 Create a Positive Mindset

The first step towards becoming more assertive is to improve your mindset. A positive mindset allows you to recognise, validate and apply your full potential with respect to all that you are, and do.

Being positive and feeling confident about yourself is so important. Positivity is a leading factor in developing your self-confidence and it will help you keep a feeling of worth. Staying positive improves your mindset in regards to self-talk, and allows you to better recognise and maximise your natural strengths.

A strong positive mindset enables you to face adversity and overcome it, build positive relationships, experience success in your career endeavours, and better enjoy all aspects of your life.

To learn more about how to shift your mindset, read our article 5 tips to overcome negative thoughts.

#2 Set Boundaries

Being assertive requires you to set positive boundaries and know how to say “No.” It may seem unkind, but here's the truth: it's not possible for you to meet everyone’s needs!

“No” is actually a message that can be delivered with grace and compassion, when you learn to say it kindly but firmly. Here's a few do's and don'ts for saying "no":

DO - Be quick and responsive. Be polite. If appropriate, give a reason for why you are turning down their request. When saying "no", you may also choose to provide an alternative time or solution.

DON'T - Don't lie. Don't make excuses. And don't apologise for saying "No", remember, it's not possible to meet everyone's needs all of the time.

#3 Express Yourself with Confidence

It takes as few as seven seconds – and no more than thirty seconds - for someone to form a first impression about you. Like it or not, people make judgements about others right away based on a presenting appearance. And you never have a second chance to make a first impression!

To learn more about developing and expressing self-confidence at work, read our article A Simple Guide to 'Owning It'.

Developing the skills that allow you to be assertive in your relationships is something that will not only create a positive impact within yourself, but also upon the people around you, helping to make your entire company a better place.

"Assertiveness is not what you do, it's who you are!" Cal Le Mon

Over to You

An assertive person is confident and direct in dealing with others. Assertive communication promote fairness and equality, based on a positive sense of respect for self and others.

Now it's time to consider your own assertiveness. Ask yourself:

  • What is your current mindset? Are you practising techniques for a positive mindset each day?

  • Are you setting positive boundaries? Do you have the ability to say "No" with compassion and grace?

  • Is self-confidence something that you continuously develop in yourself?

Your Next Step

Would you like to improve your career and personal life with increased skills in assertiveness and self-confidence?

Join us for an online introductory coaching strategy session where we can develop a plan together and get on track towards your ultimate success.

Click below for more information or to book your 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 session now👇

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