Powerful tips to be more naturally assertive at work

It’s all in the understanding….

Do you know anyone who practices assertiveness at work, and gets it right? Ask ten people what assertiveness is and you’ll get ten different answers. Naturally passive people can see it as a hurdle to climb, yet at the same time feel small for not standing up for their rights. Others see it as a legitimate way to voice their opinions over others, rather than create a fair working practise between parties.

Some cultures see western assertiveness as rude, so intentions have to be sincere on both sides. The trouble is nobody is really taught at school how to be assertive in the right way – and assertiveness is a learnt behaviour.

STL training Courses London on Assertiveness
Powerful tips to be naturally assertive at work
So what is it?

It is about balance. It is having the confidence, patience and desire to lay out your needs and wants transparently and authentically, whilst considering the needs and wants of all concerned.

“Assertiveness expresses our needs and wants in a non-threatening way, all the while being respectful of the other’s needs and wants and is done so in the light of empathy, but not overly emotional.”

NEVER go into a conversation when you are feeling upset or angry. Never assume a militant stance. Calmness and consideration are both key, as is deep, receptive listening.

One of the benefits of being assertive is that it gives you a better understanding of yourself and the value you can offer an organisation.

Not only are you better able to negotiate “win-win” solutions, you can gain common ground with the other party much more quickly and effectively.

Typically, people who are problem solvers and ‘doers’ are seen as great managers and are generally well-liked.

Most of all, you’ll become less anxious about voicing what needs to be said and won’t feel victimised when things don’t quite go as planned. You are ultimately more likely find a better working solution, whilst keeping clear and appropriate boundaries in place.

Employing Assertiveness Techniques

Use “I” statements and powerful words such as “I strongly feel”. Make sure you understand how the other person is viewing the situation. You can only operate successfully from building strong rapport and actively engaging with their point of view. An empathic response will allow them to see that you consider them too.

Always talk about the desired outcome that will serve both parties. If you have to become firmer, do so by asking them if they, too, have this outcome in mind.

If you start to feel emotional, ask for time to compose your thoughts. When you’re ready to begin again, use emphatic words such as “will” instead of “could or should” “ I want”, instead of “I would like” and so on. It’s about making your position clear.

There are many more techniques which will not only bring successful outcomes but earn you both respect and appreciation. These are the basic keys to be more naturally assertive at work.

How to improve your Memory with Mind Mapping

I don’t need this, do I?

Did you know that you can improve your memory with mind-mapping? And why would you? Sometimes we can’t remember what we went into the bedroom for, the name of the person who we’ve known for years in the supermarket, or some dates we set aside for meeting with people which have completely slipped our mind.

improve your memory with mindmapping
Improve your memory with mind-mapping

If you carry a “to do” list and forget to bring it with you to do, it’s helpful to have a few memory joggers.

If you’re a Manager in charge of a team, it cab be a monumental task to keep abreast of everything you have to do every day day.

A helpful technique is Mind Mapping, created by Tony Buzan, which follows the ways the mind thinks instead of linear or logical listing. Start with the idea or goal. Then allow your mind to roam, connecting thoughts as a way of recalling every element we might need to bring together to achieve our goal.

Branches of colour (colour is the fastest way to  align with the way our mind naturally works) curve off the main goal, summed up by a key word). Each holds ideas relating to the goal which need to be taken into consideration.

I like bullet points. This just looks a mess.

Mind Maps are their most useful is where a number of people in a team use them. If you have a large project to work on, contributors can add their ideas to the map as they think of them in the form of branches and key words.

Keep sentences short and punchy. Key words let you know what items or areas might need considering when working on bringing the project to completion. Colourful images which encompass the idea are even better.

For example, if you are designing a house and the branches cover such items for building the roof, ROOF would be the keyword. Or am image of your desired roof.

Next, additions can be made: sloping, slate, tiled, potted, roofing felt, pry bars, asphalt, tin snips, etc. You could do the same for other key words connected to the house such as; finances, architect, staircase, kitchen, etc.

Your design generates itself organically from there. Allow your unconscious to dictate the pace – it holds the answers to a full mind-map and will help you notice areas you hadn’t thought of before.

At work, the goal is to work in a way that helps everybody get the task done with the minimum of stress, maybe a new working model. What elements would that comprise? Here’s where Mind Mapping allows you to open up your creativity, bringing in ideas which connect up rather than writing in a list form. Everyone can see what is important to each individual and the group as a whole immediately.

This simple technique, using the way your mind playfully works, might help you stop leaving your front door keys in the laundry basket!