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Go after the career you want – Assertiveness 101

Knowing where you want to go regarding your career, planning out what you need to do, and being assertive can be developed.

Being assertive is not the same as being arrogant. Being assertive is promoting your ideas and abilities. Assertiveness is a helpful skill. However, if not kept in check, assertiveness can come across as abrasive, rude, or mean.

Emerging professionals need to balance their careers and ideas and then plan the necessary action.

In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of assertiveness; we’ll cover what it means to be assertive, how to become more assertive, and how to keep that assertiveness in check.

What does it mean to be assertive?

According to The Better Health Channel, “Being assertive means being direct about what you need, want, feel, or believe, in a way that’s respectful of the views of others.” Being assertive can offer many benefits to almost every area of your life.
For example, when you’re more assertive in the workplace, you show leadership that you have the qualities required of a higher level of leadership and the confidence necessary to pursue higher ambitions.

What can you do to be more assertive?

1. When trying to be more assertive, make the decision to positively assert your views and yourself and commit to the communication. It’s not enough just to think about maybe trying to be more assertive in situations. You have to have a plan to move forward. Make the commitment.

2. The next step is improving your communication and listening skills. These two skills are crucial in assertiveness. You need to communicate openly and honestly with a respect for those with whom you are speaking. In addition to that, you have to become an active listener.

3. Listening skills are part of being heard. Pay close attention to what people say to you, try to understand their perspective, and don’t interrupt. The key to having the right balance in your assertiveness is to respect others and allow them the space to be assertive, as well.
Lastly, in communicating the actual practice of assertiveness, you want to stay calm, avoid guilt-tripping, and use “I” statements. “I” statements (I think, I feel, I know) are much more assertive and more constructive than “you” statements (you never, you always), which tend to be more harmful.

How can you keep your assertiveness in check?

There’s a line between positive assertiveness and abrasive rudeness. A good way to keep yourself in check and ensure you aren’t getting close to that line is to be observant, not just of yourself, but of those around you.

Take time to analyze your behavior and your choices. Watch how others behave around you. If someone seems uncomfortable with your comments or put off by your attitude, examine your assertiveness and make some adjustments. The goal is to move forward, and that means tailoring your message to the intended receiver.

Being assertive can help achieve goals. Positive assertiveness can create positive outcomes. Assertiveness can lead to a more positive self-image, promotions, and healthier relationships.

Assertiveness is a trait that is essential for advancing in any career. It can make the difference between being seen as a strong candidate and an average one.

People who are assertive don’t succumb to silence or acquiescence when faced with a difficult situation or problem. They don’t shy away from conflict as much as those who are less assertive do, and they are more willing to speak their mind and share their opinion with others. Assertiveness is an important trait for any professional who wants to be successful and advance their career, whether it’s in sales, negotiations, management, or just about any other field; it can make the difference between being seen as a strong candidate and an average one.

Think of your career as a chess game in which you are the player and your boss is the opponent. The goal is to get to the last stage of the game – promotion. The problem is that you are not allowed to make any moves that would force your boss to make a move they don’t want to make. Most of us end up playing safe and never get a promotion.

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