Tips On How To Be More Assertive At Work

Confident and self-assured, these two words sum up someone who is assertive. Being assertive means being bold enough to speak your mind, to articulate yourself in a manner that is decisive and sure.

Being assertive is a skill we should all learn because we live in a world where self-preservation comes first. Most people are always looking out for themselves or their best interests first. So don’t be a pushover, the world will take advantage of you.

Assertiveness is a crucial skill to have especially in the workplace. Being unable to speak up can have adverse effects on your productivity, enthusiasm, mental health, ability to cope, and so forth. It can render you invisible and this may affect your career trajectory in the long run.

Being assertive in the workplace is a key communication skill. it means you are confident enough to speak up for what you want firmly and fairly, stand up for yourself, share ideas, go for that promotion, and also simply being able to say no to a request. It allows you to speak up for yourself in a manner that is respectful and appropriate for the work environment without being pushy.

Assertive people can effectively advocate for themselves and their interests. They are not seeking better treatment than anyone else, they are simply asking for the respect they deserve.  This is why it’s important to be assertive.

How Do You Build On Your Assertiveness?

  • Assertiveness is based on balance. It requires being forthright about your wants and needs, while still considering other people as well. When you’re assertive, you are self-assured and draw power from this to get your point across firmly, fairly, and with empathy. However, being assertive doesn’t qualify you to become aggressive, rude, and inconsiderate. Strike a balance in everything you do.


  • Value yourself and everything you do, it will help you recognize how you deserve to be treated. The only way to learn how to value yourself is to first understand who you are and to believe in yourself. Self-belief comes from self-confidence, but being confident in yourself doesn’t mean you think and act like you are better than everybody else and become proud.

It is important to note that while self-confidence is an important aspect of assertiveness, it’s crucial that you make sure that it doesn’t develop into a sense of self-importance. Your rights, thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires are just as important as everyone else’s, but not more important than anyone else’s.

  • Speak up for yourself – voice your needs and wants confidently. Don’t wait for someone else to recognize what you need. You might wait forever! Take the initiative and start to identify the things that you want now. Find ways to make requests that avoid sacrificing others’ needs.


  • Be open to criticism and compliments – Not everyone will appreciate your skill of being assertive. Some will resent you for it. It comes with the territory. Accept constructive criticism and learn from it. Accept compliments, be humble. Being self-assured and confident means being able to take criticism without being defensive and seeing it as an attack on your character. However, don’t be naïve, be keen enough to know when someone simply wants to put you down and step on your toes. As I mentioned earlier, not everyone has your best interests at heart.


  • Express yourself in a positive way, even when you are being assertive it is important to remain respectful.


  • Learn to say No – If you want to learn how to be more assertive you need to learn how to say no to certain things. Know your limits, set your own boundaries. Remember that you can’t possibly do everything or please everyone, so it’s important that you protect your time and your workload by saying “no” when necessary. When you do have to say “no,” try to find a win-win solution that works for everyone.


  • Practice being assertive – Just as any other skill you seek to develop; the best way to successfully become more assertive at work is to practice doing just that. While you are practicing, focus on actively listening to the needs and feelings of others while creating an open dialogue about your own needs.


  • Understand you can only control your behaviour – It is important to know that you can’t control the actions of others. If someone in the workplace has misinterpreted your assertiveness, you can only control how you advocate for yourself. As long as you remain respectful and empathetic of other people’s time and needs, there is nothing wrong with advocating for your own rights and needs in the workplace.


Being assertive doesn’t mean you act only in your best interests without considering other people’s rights, feelings, desires, or needs – that is aggression. Being assertive means finding the right balance between passivity (not assertive enough) and aggression (angry or hostile behaviour).  It means having a strong sense of yourself and your value. It means standing up for yourself even in the most difficult situations.

Remember, don’t be a pushover!



2 Responses

  • Geoffrey Tumbu
    Sep 4, 2021

    This has inspired me.The incredible detailed knowledge in regards to what it means to become more assertive at work.You have unraveled the mysteries concealed in and brought me in the space of lime light.

    Geoffrey Tumbu Sep 4, 2021
    • Oct 30, 2021

      it brings us joy to hear that our articles are making an impact. We are glad. Thank you for the feedback and your support. We hope to continue inspiring.

      PMC Estates Oct 30, 2021

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