“Above all, know what you want to accomplish in every interaction,”was the immediate response I had when asked how to be more assertive in the workplace.The question came from a reporter who was working on a story that intended to help people who are challenged in this area. Folks who are shy or afraid to assert themselves for fear of seeming pushy yet know that they want to assert themselves in order to move forward and showcase their potential. I get it. And I have some tips.
As an international behavior specialist, a leadership mentor / author / speaker, and as a single mom of eight grown children – six adopted, five with cognitive challenges – I am consistently assertive and clear. In this way, I have been able to lead my children and my clients to believe in themselves and to acquire unprecedented skills, abilities, and futures.
These are a few tips I would love to give you as well. They are useful in the workplace; any workplace. Even if it is your home.
Healthy Helpful Assertiveness Tips:
1) Begin your sentence before thinking. Too often people freeze up while they are trying to think up the right answer and then they get trapped into merely agreeing to what’s being asked of them. Also, when you immediately begin speaking your brain proactively seeks the best response. Tip: It can help to give yourself a ‘go to’ phrase to start with. ‘What are we hoping to accomplish’ or ‘I like that you thought to ask me.’
2) Conversely, think about how you responded immediately after the interaction. Be sure to quickly clear up any misdirection or anything that may have been left unclear.
3) When you choose to say no, use the word don’t rather than can’t. Not only will it give the person you’re speaking to less room to try and change your mind, but it gives you a feeling of confidence that subtly shifts your thinking and body language.
These are only a few simple tips, yet with practice and consistency they can make all the difference.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like more ideas.
Don’t be shy. ;D