Speak with impact: a leader’s guide to assertiveness

When it comes to being a successful leader, being assertive is key. Assertiveness can help those in leadership positions to be more effective and efficient. The article cites examples of how being assertive can help leaders to stand up for themselves and their team, make better decisions, and manage difficult conversations with confidence.

The first step is to be aware of the different types of communication. There are three basic types: passive, aggressive and assertive. Passive communication is when you do not express your feelings or needs. Aggressive communication is when you express your feelings or needs in a way that is harmful to yourself or others. Assertive communication is when you express your feelings or needs in a way that is respectful to yourself and others.

The second step is to practice using assertive communication. This can be done by using the “I” statements below:

“I feel…”

“I need…”

“I want…”

For example, “I feel like I’m not being heard.” “I need more time to think about it.” “I want you to stop interrupting me.”

The third step is to use assertive language. This means using clear and direct language. For example, “Can we discuss this later?” instead of “Can we talk about this later?” or “I’d like a raise” instead of “Maybe we could discuss a raise?”

The fourth step is to be aware of your body language. Your body language should be open and relaxed. For example, uncross your arms and legs, keep your head up, and make eye contact with the person you are speaking to.

The fifth step is to practice self-compassion. When you make a mistake, be kind and forgiving towards yourself. Forgive yourself for not being perfect and accept that you are doing the best you can.


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The sixth step is to be mindful of your triggers. Triggers are things that upset you or cause you to react in a certain way. For example, if someone cuts in line, this may trigger feelings of anger or frustration. Be aware of your triggers and try to manage them as best as possible.

The seventh step is to set boundaries. Boundaries are limits that you put on how much you are willing to do for others. For example, you may set a boundary stating that you will only work eight hours per day or that you will not take work home with you. boundaries help protect your time and energy so that you can focus on your own goals and needs.

The eighth step is to practice assertiveness regularly. The more often you practice assertiveness, the easier it will become for you to use it in difficult situations. Remember that practice makes perfect!

So why is assertiveness so important in leadership? Well, because it allows you to get results without resorting to bullying or manipulation. It also sends a message to your team that you’re willing to work through disagreements respectfully and that you respect them enough to give them a voice. Being more assertive can lead to better communication, improved decision making, and increased productivity. Assertiveness can also help build relationships with co-workers and customers.

Find out more in the original article here: https://positivepsychology.com/assertiveness-in-leadership/

This article summary was created by Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a leadership trainer, success coach and people skills expert. She helps managers and business owners build thriving teams and organisations, using tools from Positive Psychology. She's trained more than 60,000 people during her career as a corporate trainer and professional development consultant. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference.