It’s a new year and being assertive at work should be on your to-do list. Not only will it make your life easier, but it’ll help you become a better version of yourself. From improved communication and productivity to standing up for yourself, the benefits outweigh any concerns you might have.
When people hear the word ‘assertive’, they often think it’s forcefully achieved. However, it’s simply a core career skill that allows you express yourself confidently to achieve your goals. It helps you stay focused, and creates a balance to take care of your professional and personal needs.
So if you want to stand up for yourself more this year, we’ve got you covered.
Check out 5 ways to be assertive and kick-ass at work…
1. Be confident and direct
To be assertive, develop the ability to advocate for your opinions, needs and values. Essentially, you want to make sure you’re not sugarcoating or overexplaining your views on anything. Practice appropriate body language and eye contact, and replace words that connote fear for words that exude courage. Additionally, when you’re confident, you’ll learn how to not take criticism personally.
2. Be prepared
It goes without saying that knowing your abilities helps you know your value at work. So to ask for what you want, it’s important to make sure you’re requesting from a place of knowledge. For example, before asking for a raise, you can identify the reasons why you’re entitled to one and practice the best way to frame and vocalize it.
3. Start saying ‘No’ more often
Yes, being assertive requires using the word ‘no’ a lot more. Some employees think they have to yield into whatever is asked of them when the truth is they don’t. The same way the person asking something of you is looking our for their own interest is the same way you should look out for yours. Is the request realistically convenient or ridiculously unfair? Decipher which and speak up for yourself!
4. Manage your emotions
In addition to setting boundaries with your ‘no’, learning self-control is key to assertion. Instead of acting impulsively, you want to make sure you’re expressing your thoughts, personal feelings and wishes with a level head. If you’re frustrated about something, address it within yourself first so you use your words carefully when tackling the issue.
5. Escalate issues when necessary
Being assertive literally translates to saying something. Basically, instead of keeping quiet with an inconvenience and waiting for someone else to speak up about it, say something! Report the issue if you have to and show some proactivity.
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