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How to Speak More Assertively

How to Speak More Assertively

Christina Macres

Exhibit Leadership Qualities

Part of speaking in an assertive manner is demonstrating leadership skills. When you are assertive in a conversation, you are leading that conversation. But don’t use this as a time to be condescending. Steer clear of using big words in an effort to deliberately impress people and try to avoid making coworkers feel defensive. Think about your approach, delivery, and what you want as a result of your conversation.

Be Specific and Clear

Part of speaking to people is, well, speaking to people. To avoid miscommunication, speak clearly and stay on topic. If you are curious or need clarification about something, ask. If you are feeling frustrated by a coworker’s solution or point-of-view, for the interest of a win-win situation, try to look at the big picture and, if you must, excuse yourself from the conversation altogether. The quickest way to lose respect in the office is to let your emotions take over your professionalism. Being kind and courteous should always win out over your efforts to be right.

On that note…

Say Exactly What You Mean

No one likes to listen to someone drone on. Often, the more you say, the less is heard. Keep things specific, use facts, and be conversational — not confrontational.

Listen — REALLY Listen

When you’re talking, show coworkers that you hear them and that you understand. Most times, people just want to be heard. Prefacing your comments with a rephrasing of their last statement will both put them at ease and make them more open to listening and understanding your stance and possible solution.

Don’t Feel Guilty for Being Assertive

It’s more than okay to stand up for yourself, your ideas and opinions. Being assertive is in fact very important when communicating with others, not to mention coworkers. Practice, assess the situation, and use confidence to emphasize rather than provoke. Remember, in the end, it’s respect you seek.


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