Assertiveness for is an essential skill needed to carry you to success in your career as well as through life in general. In the workplace, as a woman, you may be seen as passive and not as a leader. Not only is the stereotype wrong but it assumes women inherently can’t be leaders at the same level as their male counterparts. Here are ways you can be more assertive and gain respect in the workplace as a business woman who can stand her own and be a great leader.
Assertiveness is a style of communication that above all respects your boundaries. Lack of assertiveness often leads to neglecting your needs and wants and silencing yourself when you could be confident and communicate your views firmly.
Firstly, remember that you matter. That your views are important and you have a right to disagree and not have to feel bad about it. Assertiveness begins with accepting yourself, acknowledging the rights you have and respectfully expressing and communicating with others.
The workplace can be an intimidating place and difficult to implement assertiveness if you are not accustomed to doing so. You can start a journal at home, practice with close friends or with immediate family in being assertive in contexts where you feel safe, and over time extend this to your workplace where it will feel natural and be less stressful. When working on your assertiveness, whether with others or in your journal, ask yourself what it is you would like to communicate and how you would like to say it. Playing it through in your mind this way can help you feel prepared and take off the edge of putting yourself on the spot in interactions. Assertiveness is a skill that needs to be practised.
When dealing with others at work, reading a book, or watching characters on TV, watch the interactions and try to identify what are and aren’t examples of assertiveness. Remember that assertiveness must not be confused with aggression. You can say no, or disagree with someone maintaining your normal tone of voice without giving in.