Being assertive in the workplace is a trait that highly effective and well-liked managers have. Even if you are lacking in confidence, there are many things you can do that can help you achieve greater things in your workplace. Assertiveness is a crucial part to success in any part of your life, and by learning how to become more assertive will build your confidence. Increased self-confidence leads to better communication and will allow you to stand up for yourself when you need to. Here are some of the reasons why being assertive in your workplace is so important.
What Is Assertiveness?
There is a very fine line between assertiveness and aggression and knowing what defines the two will help you to be assertive without unnecessary aggression. Assertiveness is based on the balance between being forthright about what you need, but still considering what others also need.
Aggressive behavior, however, is based on winning. Aggressive behavior is where someone likes to be in control and will speak down to people. Dealing with aggressive behavior with assertive behavior is the best method of reprisal. So, if you have been dealing with aggressive behaviors in your workplace, this should help you to gain some control back of your own, without being aggressive yourself.
Benefits of Assertiveness
The biggest benefit of learning to become more assertive is the increase in self-confidence. Being assertive helps you to understand yourself better, what you want and need, and how to achieve your goals. There are many more benefits to becoming more assertive, and if your workplace is filled with a diverse group of people, it can help you to get ahead and work your way up the ladder, if that’s where you want to be.
How to Become More Assertive
Although it is not a simple task to become more assertive, especially if you are introverted, however, it is possible. It starts with little steps. Whether you are an aggressive person who wants to be more assertive and less aggressive in your communication, or someone who is meek and needs to boost your confidence and career, here are some great tips.
Firstly, it is vital to get the balance right. To do this you must understand yourself completely and accept that you need to build on your own image and confidence. To be more assertive you must have a self-belief in your own personal value, as well as the company you work for and your team. Self-belief is the basis of assertive behavior.
You need to be able to voice your wants and needs and make sure they are met. Without meeting your own expectations, you cannot perform to your full potential.
You need to also acknowledge that you cannot control other people’s behaviors. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when being assertive is accepting responsibility for someone’s adverse reaction to it. If someone becomes overly defensive when you are being assertive, try not to respond to them in an aggressive way, continue your assertiveness without aggressiveness.
It is very important that you bring up negative or difficult issues, otherwise it will eat away at you. Deal with the issues in a positive way by being constructive as well as sensitive. On that note, you must also be able to humbly accept constructive criticism yourself. If you disagree with the criticism, voice it, but not defensively or aggressively.
One of the most difficult things to do in the workplace is to say no. However, if you want to become more assertive you must learn when to say no. Knowing the limits of your workload is vital for the ability to say no. Being able to manage your workload effectively requires you to stop being taken advantage of by colleagues. If you are snowed under and your colleague or boss drops a load of work on your desk at 4 p.m. on a Friday, just say no. Saying no straight up might not work, so explain that it will get done, but not urgently at 4pm on a Friday.
The key points to assertiveness are the balance between not enough and too much confidence in yourself. Assertiveness will only make you stronger as a person.