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Being Assertive At Work! (on Bustle)

August 30, 2016

Angelina connected with Bustle to share tactics for exercising your authority at work. She recommends having a direct approach and not worrying about being perceived as 'nice.'

 

 

She shares:

Being direct is in no way rude — all you're doing is asking for what you need! You don't have to feel guilty over that. If you don't reach for what you want, the chances are slim that it'll fall into your lap. Angelina Darrisaw, an international business and career coach, shares in an email with Bustle, "Don't worry about whether or not you're nice. Worry about if you are communicating clearly and regularly asking for what you want. You can avoid being perceived as anything but nice by regularly being decisive and sharing a firm point of view when you contribute." If you're regularly determined and strong-minded then you won't be tagged as "mean," but rather serious about your job.

Darrisaw also points out, "Of course, be flexible and be willing to collaborate, but generally, you should assert what it is you truly feel vs. wishy washy requests." Avoid being easily malleable, and being assertive will become easier!

 

If you have something bothering you about your position or need to stand up to a steam-roller in your project, it's best to approach the topic when you're not swept up in whatever emotions you're feeling. Take an hour or a day to detach yourself from the situation, and then come armed with bullet points. "Make an effort to communicate about difficult topics, when you aren't worked up. Work to separate that personally charged emotion from what you need to communicate. This will help give you the confidence to stand up for yourself," Darrisaw advises. By removing the emotions, you'll be able to respond professionally and will hit your boss or co-workers with facts, not subjective feelings.

 

When it's time to put the Mr-Nice-Guy away, make sure you come in swinging with ready facts and points. Your demands and observations will be taken way more seriously that way. "The best time to be assertive is when you are clear on the result that you want. You may not always get that, but your odds are much more favorable the clearer you are. Take time to arm yourself with information to make your case, practice if you need to, and then go for it," Darrisaw recommends. When you know exactly what you need the outcome to be, you'll be less likely to be brushed off.

 

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