Self Assertion-the act of expressing or defending your rights, claims, or opinions in a confident or forceful way.
Merriam-Webster has defined pretty much anything under the sun, including the sun. Self-assertion represents a recent entry into the venerable dictionary’s ever growing list of words and terms that keep us not only informed, but also on the good side of diction. Yet, the definition of self-assertion by Merriam Webster doesn’t give us a road map on how to “self-assert” ourselves in the workplace. Outside of the bedroom, no other place has more importance for self-assertion than what takes place at work.
Hence, we offer a guide on self-assertion at work.
How to Assert Yourself at Work
A guide on self assertion at work doesn’t recommend that you stroll up to a co-worker and slap him or her on the head to assert yourself. No, the short guide to becoming relevant at work operates on the premise that self-confidence grows over the course of time, as we master new skills beginning early in childhood. For the workplace, self assertion requires mastering a few essential skills that allow you to control your professional destiny.
Non Verbal Cues
A guide on self assertion at work would not be complete until an extensive portion of the guide discussed non verbal communication. In fact, you can’t expect to assert yourself in the workplace until you master non verbal communication skills. Body language sets the table for a guide on self assertion at work. You must establish strong body language, such as holding your head up, keeping your shoulders squared, and making eye contact with your peers, subordinates, and supervisors. Maintain a calm, yet focused demeanor to ensure that your fellow workers respect your opinion. Above all, lose the animated gestures and speak up when the time comes to put your proverbial foot down on a workplace issue that matters to you.
Never Accept Interruptions
Competition in the workplace often leads to interruptions among co-workers. A guide on self-assertion helps you walk the fine line between offending interrupters and not doing anything at all. Never allow an interrupter to prevent you from getting your professional message across to co-workers. Continue speaking and if need be, raise your voice to the next level by letting the interrupter know that you weren’t finished speaking. When a supervisor interrupts, finish your point and yield the floor for him or her to speak.
Always Ask for the Things That You Want
Have you ever had a raging internal debate at work that involves deciding whether you want to ask for a raise or insist on participation on an important workplace project? Asking for what you want in comprises the cornerstone of a guide to self assertion in the workplace. Unless your co-workers have a clairvoyance gig in Las Vegas, you can’t expect them to read your mind. It’s not selfish to state what you want; it’s actually mentally cleansing to let your professional peers know what you want.
Listening Helps You Assert Yourself in the Workplace
The most effective method in a guide on self assertion at work requires you to keep your tongue still. Active listening helps you establish the type of credibility that allows you to assert yourself in the workplace. Once your professional peers feel comfortable discussing workplace issues with you, you have opened the door to asserting yourself in a kinder, gentler professional manner. Active listening means acknowledging your professional peers, even though you don’t agree with their arguments.
A guide on self assertion in the workplace follows the basic formula for earning professional respect. You don’t have to hammer your point home to assert yourself at work; you only need to apply a few subtle taps to play a prominent role at work.