Whether a co-worker has been condescending in a meeting and you’re not sure how to address the problem, or you’re anxious about speaking up even though you have lots to contribute, being assertive at work can be difficult. But fear not! Our expert recruitment knowledge means that we’ve come across people from all backgrounds and skill levels so we know where to pinpoint confidence issues and rectify them. From understanding imposter syndrome to body language, here are our six tips on being more assertive at work.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
It’s such an easy thing to do, especially when you’re the type of person who is ambitious and keen to climb that career ladder. Comparing yourself to others in the workplace can sometimes be healthy; to keep tabs on competition, but obsessing over the successes of others can be a sign that you are suffering from imposter syndrome. This means that you often feel like you’re not qualified for your job and you’ll soon be found out, or your success has been luck and not deserved.
Every time you think negatively about yourself, be mindful and counteract that mind talk with a compliment. You’ll soon see that your preoccupation with other people’s lives won’t help your own. Directing your attention towards your own achievements and career path is a healthier means of ambition, and will likely serve you better in the long run.
Pay Attention To How You Look & How You Speak
Got a big presentation at work and worried about your confidence? Look at yourself in the mirror to practice. How is your posture and pose? What does your voice sound like? Thinking about these elements of your appearance will affect how others perceive you. Even if you’re not feeling your best, if you demonstrate open, confident body language and speech you’ll trick yourself and others into thinking you’re assertive. Body language is important to the recruitment process, as is how you speak. Practice poses that make you feel and look confident and make sure you project your voice as well as cut down on the frantic ‘erms’ in your speech.
Think Assertive, Not Aggressive
Though aggression may seem like confidence, this behaviour often stems from insecurity and you won’t do you professional relationships any favours by acting in this way. It’s important to not blur the lines between assertion and aggression, and to make sure you’re coming across as confident but not a horrible person. Keep your body language open and positive as well as your language; empathise with the other person’s point of view, maintain eye contact and calmly state your opinion. Be clear and straightforward without being too emotive or throwing blame.
Stop Apologizing Unnecessarily
Be mindful of how often you apologize. Is it once a day? Five times? More? Think about why you’re saying sorry in those instances and work out if it was really needed or if it was a result of anxiety. Confident people don’t apologize for no reason, be assured about your thoughts and only apologize when it’s needed.
Ask Yourself: Do I Think Or Do I Know?
If you’re worried about being assertive, don’t speak in a meeting or to your colleagues unless you’re prepared and have all the facts. That way, even if you’re feeling nervous, you can immediately answer any questions and therefore prove your expertise, which will make you appear assertive and allow you to gain confidence in your knowledge.
Do you have any tips that have worked for you in being more assertive at work? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’re interested in a new opportunity, why not scroll through our current vacancies.