Being assertive at work

Being assertive at workAssertiveness is all about respecting your individual needs and standing up for your own rights without hurting the feelings of the opposite party. In this highly competitive world it is essential to display assertive behavior so that your coworkers do not take you for granted. Assertiveness is different from aggressiveness for it does not involve being forceful or rude to others. It simply means putting your thoughts in a strong yet gentle way so that others at the workplace notice you and take you seriously.

A recruiter working in a consultancy says, “In my previous company most meetings used to be scheduled in late evenings. Although I felt frustrated about it I could never say no. I had other obligations to take care of and why should I stay back for something that can be done during the normal working hours. But I was unable to express myself in the right way.”

Self promotion is an effective means to make yourself popular in your workplace. Of course you should beat your own trumpet tactfully. Being proactive and enthusiastic will also enable you to stand out of the crowd. It is good to upgrade your technical and soft skills. This is because the more knowledgeable you present, the more sought after you will be by your colleagues.

When you are faced with such situations in the corporate world you need to assert yourself. You may not be born with assertiveness skills but it can surely be acquired over a period of time. A counselor clarifies, “It is important to maintain professionalism while being assertive at work. Maintain a straight body posture and communicate confidently. Avoid using a submissive tone. If you have to stretch too far for a particular assignment there is no harm in saying a no. Have control over your emotions at all times. If you have problems with a coworker do not spread the message around. Instead speak to him directly and come to a win-win situation.”

It is true that employers almost always prefer assertive employees to passive ones. An HR Executive says, “In this dynamic business world assertiveness serves as a useful tool for the organization concerned. Being assertive will help improve an employee’s self- esteem, reduce stress in the workplace and create an open environment without any misunderstandings. The individual employee will feel a lot more satisfied by being able to reveal his true self. In fact companies are realizing the importance of this skill and imparting assertiveness training to their employees. It is all the more necessary for team leads and managers who cannot be successful without being assertive.”

Asserting your rights in the workplace can lead you to a rewarding career ahead. However you should not be aggressive and hurt others around you in the name of being assertive. The key to success lies in being polite and tactful while fulfilling your needs and wants.


- Ranjita Chattopadhyay (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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