It’s no secret that many of us have people-pleasing tendencies that are often at their strongest when we’re at work. Do you say “yes” to more work when you’re already at capacity? Do you struggle to voice your opinions and concerns in a group setting? Do you hesitate to ask for help, even in the face of burnout? If you answered yes to most of these questions, there’s a good chance you’re a people pleaser.
Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, you might find yourself overworked and underappreciated instead of earning the recognition you deserve. It’s time to take your power back. Here are five tips to help you be more assertive at work:
Shift Your Mindset
It all starts with your mindset. There’s a misconception that being assertive can be perceived as rude or aggressive, but that’s not the case at all. You can still be kind, humble, and polite while setting healthy boundaries. By protecting your time, you can ensure that you’re producing your best work. Don’t hesitate to voice your opinions either; remember that you add value to the company and deserve to be heard.
Remember, You Can Be Assertive AND Maintain Empathy
The key to assertiveness is having empathy for everyone involved in the situation. It’s all about your tone and your ability to communicate your boundaries in a positive and professional manner. Assertiveness doesn’t mean you should abandon your team when they’re in need; instead, explain your current workload and work with your team to see what duties and tasks can be shifted around so that everyone feels supported.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
When you’re juggling too many different projects and responsibilities, it’s easy to feel pulled in every direction. It makes it feel impossible to get anything done. This is why it’s so important to have open communication with your manager about your workload. They can help you prioritize the most mission-critical tasks so you can confidently make your way down the list. In times like these, it’s best to be assertive and not take on any extra work until you feel like you can comfortably balance the workload.
Connect with a Mentor
Learn from the best. Connect with an assertive team member within the business that you admire. They can help coach you in specific situations and provide guidance on being more assertive within the organization.
Find What Works for You
Not everyone is assertive in the same way. Try different methods until you can confidently get your message across clearly and effectively. Your goal should be to provide value as a team player without completely overwhelming yourself with an unreasonable workload. With a balanced workload and a team that listens to your concerns and opinions, you’ll be able to produce your best work while feeling respected in your workplace.