Assertiveness refers to how prepared a person is to stand up for their right and opinions regardless of other people’s contrary opinions.
A person having both extremes of too little or too much assertiveness poses a problem. An employee’s or manager’s challenge is to achieve or create a balance, ensuring their voices are heard even when there are contrary voices and opinions.
Upon creating this balance, all parties should leave a meeting or gather clear and precise decisions about its overall success.
Here are three reasons why assertiveness is essential
1- Leaders/Employees that have good judgment but are not assertive are viewed as ineffective
2- Leaders/Employees that don’t have perfect judgment but are rated high in assertiveness are seen as better leaders
3- Leaders who have both excellent judgment and assertiveness are the best
Strategies to build assertiveness
Set clear boundaries:
It is essential to be clear to everyone, including yourself, regarding what is acceptable to you. Strategies to Build Assertiveness in the Workplace Setting boundaries and maintaining them would mean that the people you are leading are clear on the nature of your relationship and what is acceptable
Many people find it challenging to say no, and it becomes more complicated when the person lacks assertiveness. Yet, by using these strategies, you can improve your ability to say “no” with practice. When you are asked to do something that you’re uncomfortable with, especially if it’s not included in your contract or if it’s against your Faith or core beliefs, you can either go with saying “No” or go along to say Yes. The former is the choice of an assertive person. Always keep the reason behind your saying NO in mind so that you can say it when you need to
Use statements that begin with “I.”
The most favourable outcome of any situation is when both parties part ways, satisfied without compromise. Using accusatory sentences like “you did this” or “you didn’t do this” can come off as aggressive. It is always better to describe your position and how you feel because it helps open up dialogue without an argument. Instead of the above sentences, try ” I think we should consider other options” “I feel like this is the right approach.”
Address people by their names
You will come off as assertive and confident if you refer to your colleagues by their first names. Calling them by their names shows that you know who they are. The said colleague must understand that you are engaging with them directly and you require action
Adjust how you speak
People that speak assertively sound calm and relaxed without coming off as indifferent.
Without sounding like they are shouting, you should be loud enough to be heard. While it is a tricky balance, feedback from people and practice can be constructive. It can also help record yourself speak and listen to how often you use filler words “um.” Speaking too fast can also pose a problem, causing people to become uncomfortable or disengaged because you come off as nervous Strategies to Build Assertiveness in the Workplace.
Dress the part
This always helps because of how we look, how we are perceived and how we feel about ourselves. As many environments move towards casual dressing, this can become increasingly difficult as the boundaries for appropriate boundaries have become increasingly unclear. What you decide to wear must show respect for yourself, your environment and the people you’re communicating with. What you wear can determine how seriously people take what you have to say
Have and maintain a confident body language
Our body language has a significant impact on how we are perceived. Things like standing tall, proximity to the person we’re speaking with, facial expressions, and posture are all examples of body language. People will see you as an assertive and self-assured person even before you begin to speak if you look confident Strategies to Build Assertiveness in the Workplace.
Imagine how a confident person would look and sound when they’re not intimidated but assertive. Their gestures, hands and arms are comfortable and relaxed, following what they have to say.
When you want to engage with people, practice looking confident stand with your chest out, your head up and your shoulders back without appearing rigid.
Being assertive is a considerable need if you want to grow in your career. I hope these few strategies help you on your journey.