Assertiveness in the workplace is becoming a common ‘must have’ trait especially for leaders looking to make their mark on the world and drive business results. It’s not always that easy, some are naturally assertive at work, whereas others have to work on it. As with everything ‘practise makes perfect’.
But why is it important for the modern day leader to have the assertive trait? It’s well-documented that those who show assertiveness within their role reach higher progress in their careers, and quicker than their peers. The benefits of being more assertive at work also extend beyond the career progression, positively affecting your inner awareness and ability to understand others on a higher level. This enhances your emotional intelligence as well as energy within the workplace. When you combine these benefits together, it’s clear to see how positively this can affect your productivity within the office.
language used when assertive at work
Assertive leaders use both verbal and non-verbal language in excellent ways to position themselves more effectively within their team. By having a strong, open and welcoming upright posture, assertive leaders come across confident and safe to their colleagues. This helps create a working environment that evokes safety and encourages expression and trust.
Leaders also listen and are empathetic towards others and their opinions, taking them into consideration when making conscious decisions. This also has a positive effect on their peers, who soon feel valued and appreciated within their team.
Additionally, when leaders are assertive at work, the way they talk in situations is different. Their way with words often connotes direction, reflecting their mental state of looking towards the future and reaching the goals set out by themselves and their teams. This has a positive effect on their team who will look to follow the lead and envisage the direction with their leader.
the word ‘no’ is assertive
Assertive leaders have the ability to say ‘no’ in the right way. There’s a thin line between saying no assertively in a positive way and saying no that results in ill feeling. Leaders say no, confidently, with context as to why and actively look to help find a solution to the problem. By doing so, they develop trust among their colleagues who believe in them and their values.
On the topic of solutions, not problems, assertive leaders showcase a positive mindset that looks for solutions first. This reflects their assertive nature to see direction, move forward and drive towards the end goal.
approaching situations in an assertive way
Being assertive at work is like treading a tight rope. Act too assertively and you’ll come across aggressive towards your peers, come across too passively and your ideas will not be taken as seriously you’d initially hoped for.
It’s a tough task finding the perfect medium between passive and aggressive. Often being assertive in your approach will achieve the goals you wish, whilst also looking after the emotions and opinions of others around you.
An example may be: when involved in a team meeting, you listen first, add value to the initial ideas and expand on them. This shows direction and forward-thinking whilst fostering collaboration and bringing others ideas to life. Ultimately this helps to build relationships with your peers and reflects a positive feeling towards idea spreading within the team.
accepting mistakes, learning and moving on
Assertive leaders don’t dwell on mistakes. They often encourage and recognise mistakes they make, using that natural ‘direction’ mindset again to help develop them by learning from the mistakes or failures made. This approach has a positive learning affect that spreads like wildfire internally and encourages creativity among teams.
These are a handful of positive effects that being an assertive leader has on the workplace. Can you think of any that have helped you drive your teams forward? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.