It can be hard to be assertive in the workplace. If you are a young person who does not have much experience in the workforce, you may feel like you do not have the tools or the self-confidence to stand up for yourself at work. Even if you do have a lot of work experience, it can still be difficult depending on your personality type and the dynamics at your job. Believe it or not, it is possible to improve these skills if you are willing to put in the work. Here are five ways to enforce respect in your company while staying professional.
Have Your Facts Prepared
Before you request a meeting with your boss, or politely confront a coworker, make sure you have done your research. You want to make sure that you have the facts that you need to prove your point. It is important that you are organized and have your items prepared. If something like the hours you have worked is in question, or the paycheck you received looks off, you will need to provide documentation in order to request the correct amount. You may want to consider purchasing a paystub calculator to help you keep track of your pay stubs at home.
Consider the Other Points of View
No matter what the topic of discussion is, you will want to sit down and think about what the other person's point of view could or would be. This is important so that you can put yourself in their shoes and correct any misunderstandings that you may have about the situation. This will also give you the opportunity to prepare a defense for any accusations or misconceptions that may arise during the conversation. Although you probably feel adamant about your feelings, it is wise to contemplate the possibility that you might be wrong.
If you are not used to having to have tough conversations with your coworkers or superiors, it is not always the easiest thing to do. If the subject at hand is controversial, such as sexual harassment, theft, bullying, etc., then that can make it even harder. Try the following ways to boost your confidence:
- Do not engage in negative self-talk.
- Confide in a trusted person for advice.
- Increase your knowledge on the subject.
- Celebrate your strengths.
- Learn a new skill.
- Have fun in your free time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have your facts and documents gathered, you will want to practice what you will say. Find a friend or family member that you can confide in and who is willing to help the process go smoother. You could consider recording yourself stating your case and then listen back to see if and where you could make corrections.
You may want to run through what you want to say in the mirror. This can help you achieve the right stance, the right best tone of voice, and help you see your facial expressions. The more you practice, the easier your conversation may go, and the more prepared you will feel. Practice, practice, and practice some more.
Plan the Best Time to Meet
The last thing you want is for the person you want to speak with to be in a hurry or to be in a bad mood. Pay attention to their routine and schedule and pick the best time to meet with them. You may consider sending an email asking when the most convenient time is, or asking the first thing in the morning when you both could meet today.
You should also prioritize the best time of day for yourself. If you are usually exhausted in the afternoon or nervous before you call an important client, you do not want to choose those times to have your meeting. Get a full night's sleep the day before, eat breakfast the day of, and be sure to wear comfortable clothes so that you look and feel your best.