It doesn’t matter what your job title or role in the business is the chances are you could benefit from being more assertive in your workplace. Being assertive in the workplace isn’t about throwing your weight around or demanding that people listen to you, but about being able to express your ideas clearly and concisely, saying what you mean and getting your point across.
Having employees or managers that are more assertive in their jobs is also good for the business as it is well known how damaging poor decision making can be. Almost as bad as a poor decision, is no decision at all. It can be difficult for us to have the confidence to be assertive in many walks of our daily life, more so when it is dealing with situations that may mean you lose your livelihood if things go badly.
Pretty much every job involves some level of individual decision making, others like marketing, management often require large levels of decision making – and as such the individual holding these positions has be equipped to handle them. Managers often value employee’s who are good decision makers as this allows them to focus on coaching others who may need their attention more.
If you are responsible for client contact, being assertive can also help you when talking to potential clients as you can manage their expectations, ensuring meetings stay on track and defuse awkward situations
Being assertive at work is also a very good way to get you noticed, this can be a good thing if you handle it correctly. It allows you to have an influence on matters that affect your team or department, when others shy away from making touch calls or taking on challenging tasks, if you are willing to step up, you are likely to be moved up the chain of command as space becomes available.
If you have low confidence you may find being assertive difficult, and in situations when you are dealing with a superior at work may also add to the pressure. If this is the case you should give serious thought to doing something to help you be more assertive in the workplace
There are several ways you can do this, ranging from self help books, which are available from all manner of places to full on training courses provided by one of the companies that offer specialist assertiveness in the workplace training.
The training can be done in a way that suits you (and your business) best – whether that is in-house, at a training centre, as a group or an individual, or even online.
Talk to others to see what sort of training has helped them, and when you approach a trainer ask them what the course will cover and how the subject matter will be taught to ensure it will suit your needs.
Basic assertiveness training should cover the following subjects:
- How to shape events by asking for what you want
- How to say what you mean
- How to manage expectations
- How to be constructive in your communication
- How to build your confidence
- How to defuse aggression both in yourself and in others
- How to build your personal credibility
- How to manage conflict assertively
There may be other modules that can be offered too, but these are the main ones you should ensure are available and remember being assertive in the workplace needn’t be a bad thing, and could take you further then you ever expected.