Become an Assertive Employee to ‘Make It’ In Any Workplace

In the world of business, being assertive is very important to keeping your job, gaining recognition and moving up through the business’ ranks.

The modern workplace is often a hive of activity. Bosses are burdened with their own management concerns and bombarded with calls, texts, and emails and what-have-you each and every day. You won’t get anywhere by silently hoping your hard work will shine through and recognition will rain down upon you. You have to be assertive and pro-active to succeed in business today.

If you notice any of the following scenarios playing out at work then you need to more assertive.


5 Signs You Aren’t Being Assertive Enough At Work


  1. You have to repeat yourself time and time again to get your point across to colleagues and bosses. Most likely you are not communicating effectively and the message is getting lost in a jumble of disjointed sentences. This one is a simple fix – just get to the point and give them the relevant information they need to carry out the task.
  2. Your colleagues talk over you, or interrupt you. This indicates a lack of respect, but might also mean the ideas you are putting across are considered poor by your workmates and they want to move on with the discussion to not waste time. The solution, think before you speak and make sure your ideas are worth discussing.
  3. Don’t agree to everything. If you wind up saying yes and helping everyone in the office out all the time staff will soon come to take advantage of your generosity and kindness. Solution – be kind and generous, but treat generosity as a limited resource.
  4. Co-workers and bosses describe you as “quiet”, or “too quiet”. This is a no-brainer, start talking up, putting forward fresh ideas, discussing topics of interest to your boss and so on. Show them you exist and what it is that makes you integral to their business.
  5. Your subordinates don’t follow your directives. Engage in self-reflection, figure out if you are part of the problem (or at least be open to that scenario), then approach your team either together, or individually (whatever suits the situation best) and find out what they think the issue is. Make it clear they will not be reprimanded for speaking their mind and that this is about solving the team’s disunity, not finding a scapegoat. Honesty and taking responsibility is valued by staff and builds respect.

4 General Tips to Improve Your Assertiveness


  1. Confidence: If you don’t believe in yourself, you shouldn’t expect others to. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Getting your confidence in check will allow you to play to your strengths, plus it makes a person much more convincing when debating an alternative point of view. Confidence can mask other shortcomings.
  2. Trust Your Judgement: No second guessing. Make a decision and stick to it. There is no point wavering back and forth. It’s simply time wasting and erodes your employer’s confidence in your decision making abilities.
  3. Don't Be Pushy: Get your point across, make sure you have communicated all that you need, but don’t come across as pushy, or brush off replies. Leave room for discussion, or suggestions, let the person know their input is valued and you aren’t just barking orders. It’s all about respect and ensuring the lines of communication are kept open.
  4. Be Empathetic to Colleagues: Learn to understand your colleagues personalities and attitudes, what makes them tick and what ticks them off. A good rapport leads to a friendlier and relaxed work environment and builds trust between team members.