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How to Be More Assertive at Work: Essential Assertiveness Skills & Techniques
To advance your career, effectively communicate your needs, and successfully lead teams, it’s important to understand how to be assertive without being aggressive. Being assertive at work can help you negotiate a higher salary, build better workplace relationships, and gain more confidence in yourself and your capabilities.
But being assertive isn’t something that comes easily to everyone. Assertiveness is a skill that needs to be developed. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of being assertive and how you can be more assertive at work.
Benefits of Being Assertive at Work
Being assertive can be beneficial for you, your team members, and your company as a whole. It allows you to effectively communicate your wants and needs, contribute to team performance, solve problems more easily, and gain confidence in yourself as an employee or leader.
- Become a better manager: Assertive managers are able to make and stick to decisions, treat team members with respect, and effectively communicate their team’s needs with senior executives.
- Better communication: Communication is key to maintaining productivity, efficiency, and positive morale in the workplace. By becoming more assertive, you’ll be able to clearly and concisely communicate your most urgent wants and needs.
- Solve problems quickly: Assertive managers are able to quickly resolve workplace disputes by recognizing problems and finding solutions that benefit all parties involved.
- Gain confidence: The first step to becoming more assertive at work is recognizing your value. When you realize the value that you provide to your company, you’ll feel better about yourself and the work you do.
Assertiveness is a critical skill for employees and managers, as it fosters more effective communication, leading to improved productivity and stronger interpersonal relationships.
How to Be More Assertive at Work
If you are naturally passive, it can be difficult to find the right balance between assertiveness and aggression. But there are several tips you can keep in mind to help develop your assertiveness skills and become a more confident communicator.
Here are five tips to help you be more assertive at work.
Acknowledge Your Value
To become more assertive, you need to start by building your self-confidence and acknowledging the value you offer to your company. When you’re more confident in yourself and your abilities, you’ll feel more comfortable standing up for yourself and communicating your needs.
Communicate Your Wants & Needs
To maximize your performance and contribute to the success of your organization, you need to advocate for yourself confidently. Don’t wait for other team members or upper management to recognize what you need. Instead, take initiative and tell them what your wants and needs are.
Keep in mind that advocating for yourself doesn’t just benefit you, but it also benefits the company. When you have everything that you need to perform your job at its highest level, your organization also benefits from your increased productivity. If your colleague or manager tells you that your request isn’t possible right now, politely request that the decision be revisited sometime in the future.
Be careful not to be overly pushy or aggressive, and don’t make requests that will inhibit other employees’ ability to do their jobs.
Know When to Say No
Saying ‘no’ can be difficult—especially when it comes to requests made by higher-ups. But if you want to be more assertive and be able to stand up for yourself at work, knowing when to say ‘no’ is essential.
If you ever feel like you’re being taken advantage of, be ready and willing to say ‘no’ to requests that you feel are unreasonable or outside the scope of your job. Understand your personal limits and know how much work you’re able to take on at a single time.
You Can Only Control Yourself
Keep in mind that you can only control your own behavior at work. In some cases, you may notice that colleagues respond negatively to you speaking up for yourself.
However, if you’re not being aggressive, and you are making an effort to remain respectful, there’s never anything wrong with advocating for yourself.
Avoid Being Aggressive
Many employees are hesitant to be assertive because they don’t want to be seen as aggressive or pushy—but these are two entirely different things.
Assertiveness is simply the ability to confidently speak up for yourself and advocate for your needs. To be assertive without being aggressive, make sure you are being empathetic of other people’s time and needs, avoid being pushy if your requests are denied, and always be respectful to your colleagues and senior managers.
Improve Your Assertiveness Skills with HRDQ
Being assertive at work allows you to effectively advocate for yourself and ensure you have everything you need to perform your job at a high level. By understanding how to be assertive without being aggressive, you can effectively communicate your needs while maintaining positive workplace relationships.
At HRDQ, we specialize in providing high-quality training materials that help employees and managers develop the key skills they need to succeed.
Assertiveness Skills (RTL) is a customizable training course. You’ll learn what assertiveness is, what your personal blocks to assertiveness are, and how to use assertive behaviors in everyday situations.