Be Assertive While Being Yourself

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If you’re reserved, you’ve likely been told you need to be more assertive at work. But if that’s not your natural style, how can you still ask for what you need and get what you want? Here are three ways:

  • Start with a success inventory. To understand when your style is effective or not, spend a week assessing your success. Before a meeting, ask yourself, “What do I want?” Then, afterwards, evaluate the results.
  • Set small goals. Challenge yourself with a specific goal. For example, give yourself a week to initiate three difficult conversations with colleagues. Or promise that in group discussions for the next month, you’ll speak up within the first two minutes.
  • Build relationships. If you hold back because you’re uncomfortable with your co-workers, consider interacting more with colleagues outside of work so that you feel more at ease speaking up.

Adapted from “How to Be Assertive (Without Losing Yourself)” by Amy Gallo.

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