All Women's Talk

10 Sure Ways to Be More Assertive at Work ...

By Lisa

Ever feel like if you could find ways to be more assertive at work you would get the promotion and raise that you know you deserve?! Sometimes it can be hard to find a balance between assertive and aggressive so I scoured the net and found 10 sure ways to be more assertive at work so you can get what you really want out of your job!

1 Be Aware of Body Language

We all have certain habits that we do subconsciously like tapping our foot; but there are certain habits that can communicate passivity and prevent you from effectively communicating with others. If you avoid eye contact or hunch over when you talk to someone, it’s not projecting confidence or assertiveness. Try to be more aware of your actions and make a habit of looking people calmly in the eyes, it really makes a difference!

2 Practice & Pretend

If the idea of being assertive is a scary and foreign thought to you, try role-playing with a friend and pretend. Go over a typical work scenario and tackle the situation as your more assertive self and get feedback from your friend. Also, try being more assertive in everyday interactions like while running errands and keep practicing ways you can be more assertive. If you goof up, who cares, you’re probably never going to see them again anyway!

3 Think Positive

A great way to be more assertive and mean it is to think positive. The next time you need to approach someone at work, try to imagine a positive outcome and leave those defeatist thoughts at the door. If you can imagine a win-win situation, you’re more likely to project a confident and assertive vibe. Start small and work your way up to dealing with more delicate matters like a raise!

4 Speak up

Speaking up doesn’t mean shouting or chatting incessantly. Speak up during interactions with management and department meetings to bring up ideas and projects. Don’t’ be afraid to share your thoughts; take a deep breath, talk calmly and directly. It can be intimidating to present an idea in front of a group, so start with approaching management on a one-on-one basis and get your confidence up.

5 Don’t Be Sorry

Over-apologizing is pointless and unproductive! When you over-apologize, you’re basically taking all the blame and projecting a lack of confidence. Another sure way to be more assertive is to practice using other words instead of always apologizing. You want to convey confidence and show that you really know what you’re talking about! So, if you find yourself apologizing a lot, train yourself to avoid saying sorry as often, it’s liberating!

6 Observe Others

Do you have any co-workers or supervisors who you really admire and strive to be like? If not, what about friends or even actors? A great way to communicate confidence is to observe and take cues of those you admire. Scope out how people interact with the higher-ups and how they approach difficult situations, you can learn a lot by watching!

7 Set Boundaries

Do you have a hard time saying no to people and end up taking on more work than you can handle? Two words-stop now! It’s cool to help others out but you’ll have a hard time getting ahead at work if you’re always bogged down with miscellaneous tasks. Make your work a priority and if you can’t afford to help someone out, calmly and directly say no. There’s nothing wrong with saying no!

8 Be Direct

Do you have an annoying cubicle mate or co-worker? Instead of loudly sighing or rolling your pretty eyes, try actually addressing the issue with the office menace. Passively communicating your distaste for something won’t improve the situation and an effective way to be assertive is to talk to the person who’s bothering you in a calm manner and give specific facts so there isn’t any misunderstanding.

9 Set Goals

You want to find ways to be more assertive at work in order to move up the ladder, right? Then it’s imperative to determine what direction you want to go and know exactly what you want out of your job. This might sound silly, but many people don’t have a clear picture of what they want their future to look like. Spend some time thinking about your aspirations and what steps you need to take so you have a plan!

10 Be True to Yourself

Yes, I’m encouraging you to take on traits that you weren’t exactly born with, but I also want to stress the important of being true to yourself. You want to be a more assertive version of yourself, not be a different person. Stay true to your values and you can be more confident and forward without coming off as the office meanie.

There are many benefits to being more assertive in the workplace and these 10 sure ways to be more assertive at work should help get you on the right track. You’re a superstar and you should be compensated accordingly! Get out there, you can do it!

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