People often find themselves drifting to the outer edges of the behavioral spectrum in the workplace. When there is a deadline inching closer or a co-worker rubs you the wrong way, you want to avoid becoming too passive or acting inappropriately aggressive. Using the strategies in this blog, you can learn assertive habits that will help you navigate the workplace.
Becoming more assertive is tricky because it requires you to walk a fine line between being forceful and docile. It’s a juggling act where you want to cooperate yet stand your ground, be flexible yet firm and listen yet be heard. It will take time to master this behavior, but it’s a quality highly valued in the office.
When working toward a more assertive persona, you’ll need to make changes internally and externally. Before you can begin practicing your new found assertive behavior on others, you’ll need to change your view of yourself.
Know Your Value
When you are confident and assured, you approach situations with a healthy dose of neutrality. Gain that confidence by taking the time to recognize what you contribute to your workplace. Looking equally at your failures and triumphs, determine what it is you want to improve and note what helped contribute to those success. Be sure to avoid placing blame on yourself for mistakes or attributing success to luck.
Know When and Prepare
When being assertive you ask for what you need and talk openly about what you want. It’s important that when addressing what you need that you take note to timing. There is a time and a place for certain conversations and your conversation can be jeopardized from the start depending timing. The best way to approach a subject is by having the conversation with yourself before hand. Prepare by asking yourself: What is my goal? What do I want to say? When is an appropriate time for this conversation? Rehearsing the conversation before hand helps to eliminate nerves and fortifies your argument. Be sure to play out both the ideal scenario and the scenario that scares you the most.
Know Your Rights
When becoming more assertive in the office it helps to be familiar with things you are entitled to in your workplace. Knowing the legal boundaries of your work environment helps you recognize when someone is taking advantage of you. Being award of your rights provides a platform to build your assertive persona upon. You are more willing to stand your ground and provide solid reasoning when you know that you have an ethical or legal case to back you up.
Know the Difference
It’s important to know the difference between being aggressive, passive and assertive. You may think you are being assertive because you approached your boss about that raise you wanted, but in actuality you’re actually being passive by merely mentioning it in passing or using nondeclarative language. Knowing the difference also allows you to recognize those traits in others, so that you can stop yourself from mirroring that behavior and formulate a more appropriate and assertive response.