Show Some Courage – Go Ahead and Assert Yourself

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By Kimberly Gerber

Assertiveness is the ability to have your voice heard in a clear and confident manner. Assertiveness gets people to notice and actively listen to you. While Assertiveness is often bold, it should not be confused with being aggressive.

Aggressive behavior is often angry and destructive. People who are aggressive generally intend to subordinate others in order to get what they want with the least amount of interference or challenge. That is not assertiveness. Ultimately, it is not effective and it damages relationships.

An assertive person projects confidence and self-control. They are perceived as poised, articulate and fair, and they are able to hold solid boundaries as well as lead the thinking of others. A great leader is an assertive leader. It’s having the courage to communicate our thoughts, ideas and contributions.

Learning to be assertive is a skill that you can master.

And, it is important that you do because, without the ability to effectively assert your voice, your success will be limited. The more often you’re able to assert yourself by demonstrating your ability to think strategically, solve problems, generate ideas and create solutions, the higher value you’ll have with those around you.

Here are three ways to assert yourself for greater success:

Self-promote – Send updates to your team and leadership on what you’re doing. Congratulate the team on your mutual successes. Don’t let the work speak for itself and don’t assume your boss knows all that you’re doing. The only way to ensure your work gets the credit it deserves is to let others know about it.

Seize opportunities – Reveal flattering information about yourself in your conversations. Be prepared to share some positive information about yourself the next time you run into leadership or others that you need to impress. But don’t go on and on, which would bore your audience. Instead, give a few facts and move on. I’ve always liked the motto: “Be brief, be bright, be gone.”

Accept compliments elegantly – When you say “thank you” for a compliment, the giver feels appreciated and so do you. Plus, it allows you to own the compliment.

Practicing the above three tips will allow you to have your voice heard as you promote your strengths, abilities, and successes in a professional and effective way. These assertiveness techniques will increase your recognition and your perceived worth to those around you. You’ve already done the hard part by doing the work, so promote it as a way to celebrate your success. The rewards will be worth the effort.

Look for more advice regarding the above three tips in future posts. If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about communications and building your self-confidence, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.

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