How To Be More Assertive Without Losing It!

Best not overdo things but the workplace is a difficult place at times and there are times when you need to stand your ground. Without coming over as a despot try applying the following techniques to make your mark on your environment.

  1. Know the facts relating to the situation and have the details to hand. Do some research and know that those who will challenge you rarely have all the facts to hand, relying on their sheer force of presence and verbal skills. Anticipate situations where you might be challenged and set out your responses.
  2. Be ready for – anticipate – other people’s behaviour and prepare your responses. Play out in your mind how this will go and prepare those around you to support you if this is needed.
  3. Prepare and use good open questions. These will expose flaws in their arguments and approaches and expose how much your adversary knows. Try questions that begin with What, Who, When, Why and the best one of all – How? Never be fobbed off. If the question is avoided or ignored return to it, or re-phrase it (which you can prepare as well).
  4. Practice your own new reactions to aggression so that you do not get phased when confrontations come along – as they inevitably will. Try visualising how this might go.
  5. Have faith that your own abilities and style will ultimately work if you let them. Non-assertive people are often extremely strong in areas of process, detail, dependability, reliability, finishing things (that others have started), checking, monitoring, communicating, interpreting and understanding, and working cooperatively with others. Use this to your advantage.
  6. Feel sympathy for bullies – they actually need it. Non-assertive behaviour is perfectly fine and takes you above the level of the assertive person.
  7. Read inspirational things that reinforce your faith in proper values and all the good things in your own natural style and self. Top up your feelings and refine your approach.

Good Luck!

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