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How to Become More Assertive at Work

Updated on July 23, 2016

There are too many reasons why you can feel less confidence at work. Maybe you’re new, or this job requires skills you don’t have, or maybe it is hard to find common language with you colleagues, or when you have less work experience, or you have a fear losing your position, or simply you are just too hard on yourself. Really, a lot of different reasons.

The good news is that you can manage you behavior to become more confident and assertive. Even if assertiveness doesn't come naturally to you, it is a skill you can learn.

First step – decide that you need changes. Make the decision to positively assert yourself. You need to realise that being more assertive will help you to succeed in life.

Second step - start small. Trying to do everything at once is not going to work and you should know that, before you start anything. So you need to be patient.

Third step is pretending like you are confident. Learn to ‘fake it till you make it’. Being confident should become your estate of mind. Create a confident mentality. The best thing to do to be confident is to know youself, your strenghts, and what you value in. Try to focus on your best sides. Watch on how confident people act and try to repeat those acts.

Open body language is one of the clearest signs of assertive behavior. Make your body movements natural and fluid.

Have a good posture. Think of yourself stretching from your head to your toes, sitting or standing. Pay attention to the neck, shoulder and upper back regions. Keep your back upright and your shoulder pushed back naturally. You should not be tense, but you should be mindful of your body and its composure.

Very important thing is your eye contact. It should be a 'staring contest'. Breaking eye contact during a conversation presents a natural environment with you and your listener. But averting your eyes constantly or having no eye contact altogether will show timidness or discomfort. You should be staring at your listeners' eyes when speaking.

Speak fluently. Fluent speaking is a sign that you have confidence in your message and you’re calm about the situation. To ensure fluent speaking, listen attentively and take sufficient time to process what the other person has said and to formulate your response, before you reply.

But all this kind of things do not come at one time, you should learn them well and start to practice. So we are moving to step four.

Step four – practice, practice and practice again. Practice makes you acts perfect. You would not get better without actions. Your attempts might fall at first but you should not be afraid of that. Learn from each attempt how to do it better next time. Your falls give you a lesson and experience. Do not avoid of speaking up. The more you practice assertiveness, the easier it will become. When the time comes to use it in more difficult or confrontational situations, you’ll have some experience.

Step five – speaking up. An important part of being more assertive at work is appearing (and being) confident in what you have to say. One powerful way of conveying this is simply making your voice heard in situations where your opinion or perspective might be valuable. Don't wait to be called on, but instead, make your views known. But do not forget not to be aggressive and do not try to offend anyone.

Step six – do not afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. A great deal of pride and confidence comes when you accomplish something you weren’t sure you could do. You have to be someone who sees opportunity where others see danger, someone who isn’t afraid to break new ground and explore new ventures. Those who don’t take risks, never become leaders. Remember that.

To sum up I want to say that assertiveness isn’t going to solve all your problems but it will help you feel more confident and communicate more effectively with others. Learning how to be more assertive will help you to earn respect among co-workers, it can reduce your stress, help you to become more productive. So I wish you a really great luck in your way…

Stay strong

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      Inga 13 months ago

      Thank you for you advises. It was very helpful for me.