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"Your approach is different, but I need you to follow my instructions.”
"My salary hike doesn’t justify my efforts. Do reconsider.”
"Unpunctuality is unhealthy for our company. Report on time from tomorrow.”

Assertiveness could be a great asset at work, and some are naturally blessed with it. Assertiveness is often associated with arrogance or stubbornness. Actually, it is not the case.

So, what is assertiveness? Well, you can define it as positive aggression, the objective being, to produce positive results. It is confident and forceful behavior to achieve something as desired by the individual. Assertive people are basically self-assured and possess remarkable self-confidence. At the work front, they use their assertive strength to make things happen their way, which could end up beneficial to the organization they serve, if what they assert on is justifiably right.

At work, assertive people mostly end up as efficient performers. They could turn out to be result-oriented and dependable leaders who earn the respect of their co-workers. Using mild words and being over-polite may not bring results, which in fact, could stifle or delay the progress of an organization. But, an assertive professional has conviction and is firm with his / her colleagues, and does not mince words to get his / her work done. This is most likely to facilitate the organization’s growth. Even while handling his / her superiors, an assertive person upholds his / her team, strives for justice and could end up as a source of inspiration to his / her colleagues.

There is a tangible difference between assertiveness and aggression. Assertiveness has a positive motive that is beneficial to the self and to others either instantly or eventually. Being assertive for a fair cause is a very healthy sign.

On the other hand, aggression is more of an outburst to vent out one’s fiery thoughts and emotions merely to satisfy one’s ego. More often than not, aggression gets beyond control and results in bitter endings, spoiling relationships.   

Having said that, assertiveness should be used judicially in conducive situations that will work favorably to the individual. One cannot afford to be assertive to everyone, everyday and in every situation. Look upon it is a tool that has to be used smartly at the right time, to the right people in the right context.

Here are a few tips to become assertive at work.

  1. Turn aggression into assertiveness. That will stifle your anger and give rise to a sane, confident state of mind, fetching productive results.
  2. Focus on yourself and use ‘I’ instead of ‘You’. You build positive energy when you say "I work better when …” instead of "You need to stop …”
  3.  Be open and state your point without beating around the bush. Declare your needs, straight and simple. This reveals your self-confidence and your honest approach.
  4. And when you declare your needs, stick to them. Don’t waver. If you want to decline something, do it politely, but firmly.
  5.  Be assertive only when you need to. An overdose of assertiveness might backfire on you. If you assert yourself at every turn for unimportant issues, being assertive is less likely to work when you really need it to.
So, cultivate the art of being assertive at work. It is an asset that works wonders.

Wishing you all a Happy WorkSpace
AGAM WorkSpace
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