There will always be times where we want to speak up, express our views and stand our ground but in reality it is not that simple.  If you feel like sometimes you can be a bit of a doormat, saying yes all too often and never truly expressing your feelings and opinions, then read on for a few of our top tips to becoming more assertive at work.

1. Don’t let self-doubt hold you back, recognise your value
In order to become more assertive, it is important to develop an understanding of yourself, your value and your beliefs.  Once you have built this self-confidence you will recognise that you deserve to be treated with respect and naturally will stick up for yourself and your rights, remaining true to your needs.

2. Keep what you want to say clear and concise
Use ‘I’ sentences instead of ‘You’, using ‘You’ can be perceived as being accusatory which will cause people to close off and become defensive.  Instead use ‘I want’ and ‘I feel’ to assert your feelings, wants and needs. Prepare what you want to say before the meeting and do not be afraid to repeat yourself in order to get your point across. Also keep in mind that sometimes saying nothing is just as effective.

3. Be aware of your body language, and learn to read others
Stand or sit straight, whilst holding your head high and do not fidget.  Make sure to use plenty of eye contact, but keep the right amount of space between you – if you stand too close they may start to feel threatened and become defensive. Keep your hands settled, and remain still. You want to come across as relaxed and confident.

4. Learn how to adapt your communication style for different people
This is one that requires some learning, our Assertive Communication Skills course explores the typical types of people which will help you to learn how to adapt your communication style to have the most impact. The more you practice this, the better you will become at adapting your own style.

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