Assertiveness is a critical trait that can help individuals become effective leaders. Be more assertive means expressing oneself confidently and standing up for one’s own beliefs while respecting the opinions and needs of others. It involves communicating clearly, setting boundaries, and taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Assertive leaders are confident, decisive, and able to inspire others to follow their lead. In this context, we will explore how developing assertiveness can help individuals become better leaders and how it can benefit their teams and organizations.
Being assertive is an important life skill to cultivate and develop. It will ensure you are able to hold your ground, advocate for your needs and rights, and speak up for yourself whenever required.
Here are six ways to grow in assertiveness.
Discover Your Communication Style
Before you can become more assertive, you need to determine whether you use a passive or aggressive communication style. A passive style means you put the needs of others before your own, which can result in resentment. An aggressive style, however, tramples on the needs and feelings of others.
Neither are assertive.
Once you know your communication style, you will know the areas you need to address and work on.
Learn To Say No
If you struggle to say no, you may find yourself overwhelmed by demands and requests. This can result in resentment and burnout. Learn to say no in a polite, assertive, but non-negotiable manner.
It’s a good idea to prepare a few statements to ensure that you have a go-to. Examples may include “I have plans”, or “I have a schedule conflict”. You don’t need to expand on your reason for declining.
Work On Your Body Language
Assertiveness is more than just the words you use. The body language you use is also very important. When we are not being assertive, we tend to shield our bodies and make ourselves as small as possible. This includes crossing our arms and shrinking in on ourselves.
In order to be assertive, you need to work on your “power pose” – legs slightly apart, arms loose and relaxed, head and chin up. Not only will this help you feel more confident, but it will send a message that you are cool, calm, and in control.
It can help to take a class to work on your posture. This can help an assertive stance come more easily to you.
Resist The Urge To Apologize
When you’re not used to asserting yourself, you may find that you apologize for things that are not your fault. Breaking this habit can be tricky, but will make a huge difference in the way people approach and view you.
Remember, you can decline something politely and assertively. For example: “I won’t be able to cover that work for you since I have my own work to do”. Resist the urge to apologize at the end.
Believe In Yourself
One of the main ways to improve your assertiveness is to boost your self-esteem and believe in yourself. Once you believe that you can handle anything life has to throw at you, you won’t have to act assertive. It will come across in actions you take and words you say.
Use affirmations and positive visualizations to boost your mindset and give yourself the inner confidence you need.
Get Help From A Professional
If you struggle with being assertive, working with a professional can help. There are therapists and coaches who specialize in helping individuals develop the skills needed to assert themselves with confidence.
Here are three examples of assertive and successful people:
Elon Musk – the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, is known for his assertive leadership style. He is highly ambitious and unafraid to take risks in pursuit of his goals.
Oprah Winfrey – the media mogul, actress, and philanthropist, has built a successful career through her assertiveness and determination. She is known for her confidence and willingness to speak her mind on a variety of issues.
Jeff Bezos – the founder and former CEO of Amazon, is recognized for his assertive and persistent approach to business. He is known for his focus on customer satisfaction and his willingness to disrupt traditional business models.
It’s important to remember that being assertive is not the same as being bossy or unkind. Don’t let this common misconception hold you back from standing up for yourself and communicating your needs effectively.
By implementing a few straightforward adjustments to your communication style, you can project a more assertive demeanor, which can benefit you in various areas of your life.
Stop hesitating and start taking action now. The time to become assertive is long overdue.
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Until next time: God bless, stay positive, and be true to you.