Navigating the workplace or business space often needs you to move with confidence and self-assurance. These two traits all fall under the term assertiveness.
Assertiveness is a skill and trait in which you effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings. It is the act of standing up for yourself, all while you respect the thoughts and wishes of others. When you are assertive, you defend your position and views with confidence.
However, assertiveness needs practice and experience and here is how you can build that.
Assess your current communication style
Before learning how to be assertive, you first need to know how you communicate now. How do you communicate with others? Are you open and honest about your thoughts? Do you accept feedback and criticism? Are often afraid of standing up for yourself? Knowing this helps you know where you need to improve.
Understand and value yourself and your thoughts
To practice assertiveness, you need to become aware that your thoughts and views also matter. This belief means that you need to work on your self-confidence. With self-confidence, you recognize that you also deserve to be treated with dignity. This then leads to –
Practice voicing your needs
Once you are confident in your thoughts, you then need to begin to practice how to voice them confidently. Stand in front of a mirror and begin reciting your thoughts and feelings. Pay focus on your delivery and inflection. You want to be confident and firm, but without coming off as overly aggressive or forceful.
You can also use a trusted friend or co-worker who will act as the recipient and give feedback on how your delivery is coming.
Learn to stay calm
The key to being assertive is balance – you want to stand up for yourself, but you also want to be respectful of others. This then means staying calm and keeping your voice steady. Losing your head quickly moves your position from assertiveness to aggression.
Acts such as meditation and journaling can help you become much more in tune with your emotions and thus, know how to control then.
Assertiveness is what gives you respect at the workplace. Sure, you might be good at your job, but if you cannot stand up for yourself, rather than respect, you can be taken advantage of.