One of the biggest misconceptions about asserting yourself is that if you assert yourself then people will perceive you as being mean or nasty. And let’s be real – no one wants to be labeled poorly. I know I certainly didn’t want to be! This is why in today’s video I’ll be sharing some tips as to how you can assert yourself confidently as a new manager.
Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below.
Like I mentioned, I didn’t want to be labeled as being bossy. I also didn’t think that what I had to say was that important. In fact I had a fear of conflict and deep down I just had a really bad relationship with rejection. So this often led to my lack of assertiveness. And as I work with clients I notice the patterns are very similar. This is why I wanted to share a few tips with you as to how you can assert yourself at work.
Tip #1 - Call out your fear
One of the first things I want you to do as you walk down the path of asserting yourself more is to call it out. Call out the reasons that you don’t assert yourself. What is it that you fear about it? When I was talking about why I didn’t assert myself did you find yourself saying – yes, that’s definitely me! Take note of that!
Can you think of specific situations where you should have asserted yourself but didn’t?
Take note of what you were feeling and thinking at the time. Naming what our fears are is honestly such a powerful way to take back control of the narrative.
Tip #2 - The story you’re telling yourself is not true
After you’ve named the narrative, I want you to know this one thing – The story you are telling yourself about what asserting yourself means is not true.
A lot of people in their minds conflate the two.
It is very common when I ask my clients what assertiveness is that they describe aggressiveness to me. This is why they don’t assert themselves because of what they believe to be true about it.
You see, assertiveness is just about communicating or articulating what you need in a clear and respectful manner.
There is nothing aggressive about that, there is nothing mean about that, and there is nothing wrong with that.
It’s important for you to remind yourself when that feeling of fear or those negative thoughts start to fire in your brain – that you change that narrative and double down on what the truth is.
Assertiveness is about communicating what you need in a clear and respectful manner. It’s a dialogue that needs to be had. Plain and simple.
Tip #3 - Understand yourself
Now once you know what the deep rooted fear is and you flip the script on the narrative, one of the first steps you have to take in order to be more assertive is actually gaining a better understanding of yourself, your beliefs, your values and your value to the organization and to the team.
You absolutely need to be clear about all those things.
Once you truly understand that then you will be better equipped to use your voice because you understand the value of your voice.
I want to encourage you to spend some time thinking through and journaling the following:
What are your beliefs?
What do you value?
How does that feed into the boundaries you set?
What is the value that you bring to the organization and the team?
ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT #4
Always make sure that when you’re in a dialogue where you need to to share your thoughts, or push back on an idea that it’s done in a manner that is clear.
This is not the time to show off your knowledge of the dictionary, this is your time to be clearly understood.
Secondly, make sure that your tone reflects your speech. It should be firm, not aggressive and respectful but not timid.
Tip #5 - Watch your body language
Remember the value of your voice is important and your body language needs to reflect that.
A large percentage of our communication is non verbal.
If your words are clear, if you’re using simple language and your tone is right but you’re hunched over or you are not making eye contact then your message will fall on deaf ears. And depending on the personality type of the person you are speaking to, well they may over power you and your thoughts.
Let your body language reflect the value of what you are saying.
Tip #6 - Aim to say what you have to say in the moment
Finally, don’t wait to say what you have to say. Say what you have to say in the moment.
Saying it in the moment will have more of an impact and it’s also just great practice. Take a deep breath, straighten up and assert your thoughts.