Assertiveness is a good quality to have to be able to stick up for yourself in the workplace and be more confident in your decisions, whilst also maintaining the respect of others. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard, and to feel respected by both clients and colleagues. In the workplace, it can be difficult to know when assertiveness is appropriate and how to express it in the right way.
You may find it difficult to stick up for yourself, particularly if you are in a new job or are being given tasks from somebody in a higher position. You may find that you are given an excessive amount of work or do not feel as though you are being treated fairly. You may be feeling extremely stressed or starting to dread work because of the amount that is expected of you. You may also feel as though your voice and ideas are not heard, and that you are not able to get as involved as you would like.
Alternatively, you may feel as though you are being assertive but have received complaints or criticism about being aggressive. There is a fine line between the two, and so it can be difficult to find the right level of assertiveness to be able to say ‘no’ to earn the respect of others, whilst also maintaining work relationships.
So how do you achieve the right level of assertiveness, and how do you apply it in the workplace? For many people, assertiveness does not come naturally, and is a skill that needs to be developed over time. If you are struggling with assertiveness at work, you find it is beginning to impact your work performance and the progression of your career. You may have also noticed that you are beginning to dislike your job, colleagues, or managers.
A number of practitioners at VCPS are specialised in assisting with workplace issues, and can provide you with the strategies to improve your assertiveness. Some ways that a practitioner would help includes:
- Assessing your methods of coping with difficult situations and relationship clashes to assess how you currently express assertiveness
- Identifying the specific issues which are leading you to feel down, stressed or anxious about work
- Helping you to discover what you really want out of your job and how to achieve it
- Providing the knowledge, strategies and practice required to be able to be assert yourself in the workplace