Assertiveness required by employees at work place

Being assertive is a key skill. Assertiveness does not mean aggressiveness or replying in affirmative. For all employees or the employee concerned he or she must first verify the facts of the task. When questioned by superiors he or she must reply and be assertive on the replies when cross questioned by immediate superior or superiors. One must be assertive whatever position he or she must be in that includes managers and those above them.

Just imagine this situation. You tell your subordinate to complete a report within a week, its mid-week already and s/he hasn’t started his/her work on it as yet. You know that the team member is slow and will not be able to deliver on time. Firmly reiterate that you want the report on a particular date and also give him or her a mild firing. But please be cautious some of us often misinterpret assertiveness as aggression and end up being rude or excessive in our attack.

Being assertive is also a key managerial skill. It is absolutely necessary for getting the work done in time and effectively. Good and skillful assertiveness largely depends on a person’s self-confidence, judgmental, decision making skills and overall effectiveness. On a personal level, it improves relationships, removes stress, boosts self-image and increases one’s level to succeed. One cannot be assertive  for various reasons like fear of reprisals, desire to please others and low self-confidence. And if you are amongst those who want to become more assertive here are a few ideas:

Whenever you realize that you are not speaking your mind pause and ask yourself- why? The answer to the question will vary from person to person and situation to situation. You will realize that your thinking is rooted in your mind and not in the actual situation. One has to be assertive many a time in work situations in the interest of the department and the organization.

Ideally, your intentions should motivate your response. Very often, we fail to adopt a proper thinking process and opinion in an attempt to please others.

Always talk to the point while discussing on an important matter. For example, don’t say that ‘I need that project tomorrow’ rather say ‘I need the project on my desk tomorrow at 11am. The clearer your message the better it will be. Similarly always ask for more info when you are asked to do something you believe is unreasonable. The other person’s explanation will help you comprehend the matter more fully, and give you the confidence to say yes or no.

If you don’t agree with a particular proposal or idea, do not adopt a body language that shows nonverbal agreement with the idea. Disagree if you have to, but in a proper manner. And always express disagreement with a particular idea and not a person.

If you feel that your opinion will lead to a confrontation, be prepared for the worst case scenarios and how you will respond to them. This will build your confidence and ability to handle any reaction, and increase your belief in your statement.

Don’t assume that you know what the other person is thinking. This will unduly stress you and decrease your assertiveness. Speak to the other person to know his/her thoughts and follow up with suitable questions.

Most of us avoid saying no because we don’t want to be appear rude or uncooperative. Explain your reasons for refusing and possibly some alternative solutions. But keep your reply crisp and prompt. However, make sure that your body language or tone isn’t too aggressive or too casual.

Not many of us think too much before speaking, especially at work. But sometimes our casual talk can prove to be quite offensive.

In the corporate dictionary dude means dense, wannabe dying to make an impression but failing miserably. You might know it all, but your encyclopedic wisdom isn’t appreciated by anyone, not even the security guard.

That phrase ‘Funny’ means the opposite of course and its ambiguity makes it offensive. You might as well be honest and say ‘Not funny’. Trust us, it well be better received.

Never trivialize anyone’s effort at work, even if you think that your pet act could have done a better job. Remember every idea is not a good idea and there is a way of saying that.

  • I am a compliance Manager in garments factory in Bangladesh. I need Bangladesh labour law-2006 English version. Have anybody to give me the labour law 2006

  • Prafulla K Acharya

    I too liked this article as simple and effective.
    P K Acharya

  • Sunita

    This is a good article & being affirmative is the need of the hour.


  • Dwarkanath_rao

    Good article