This page provides information about building positive workplace relationships. It also provides information about how to deal with unprofessional workplace relationships.
Have your voice heard in the right way
Do you know how to say no?
Being able to say no, or even yes, respectfully … having the confidence to calmly express ideas, beliefs, concerns and opinions … valuing yourself and your time as equal to other people and their time … in short, being assertive, is fundamental to our wellbeing. Those who are assertive tend to have; higher self-esteem because they’re confident communicators, lower stress levels because they’re not taking on too many responsibilities, and healthier relationships which are based on mutual respect.
Not everyone is naturally assertive or feels comfortable being assertive. However, we can learn and develop this skill.
How can you be more assertive?
Above all, it’s important to remind yourself that being assertive in a good way isn’t rude or selfish. It’s an effective and diplomatic communication style. It helps to manage expectations and use your valuable time in the most productive way. It can also help you to express your thoughts and feelings without emotions or conflict getting in the way.
Being assertive isn’t just the words you choose to say, but also how you choose to say them. Good assertive communication is clear, honest and respectful. Open and warm body language is essential. Using “I” statements rather than “you” statements such as “I don’t agree” rather than “you’re wrong”, will help you sound less accusatory and more confident in your beliefs. If the thought of being assertive fills you with fear, you may also want to rehearse different scenarios out loud or with someone you trust. Small steps in the beginning will have a big return in the long run.
The short self-study module below covers the fundamentals of building assertiveness. Once you have completed it, you may want to move onto the second part.
• Be honest and open with yourself
• Treat yourself with kindness and respect
• Be present
• Being clear, open and honest about your needs
• Ensuring everyone's wants and needs are considered
• Clearly and calmly standing up for yourself
• Agreeing compromise.
People who are assertive in a positive manner thrive in the workplace. They are able to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns in a way which doesn't hurt other's feelings.
Encouraging assertiveness in a team lowers stress and anxiety, reduces ambiguity, and boosts productivity by allowing colleagues to prioritise.
and your needs as equal to the
values and needs of other people.”
Do you ever automatically agree with others? Being able to say no is a common boundary issue in maintaining assertiveness. Take a couple of minutes to think about what prevents you from saying no, even when you want to.
Lack of confidence can lead to you to think people won’t like or respect you if you say no. Try not to be hard on yourself if you still end up saying yes to things you don’t want to or don’t have time for.
In situations where you want to say no, remember:
• You can’t do everything
• You’re not being selfish
• You can’t please everyone
• Take notice of the tactics people use to get you to say yes.
Assertiveness rights are how you are allowed to speak and are spoken to, psychological interaction and physical contact. Asking for what you want, having an opinion, making decisions and mistakes, and being successful are all our rights.
Being conscious of your personal boundaries will help you to protect:
• Your time
• Your emotions
• Your ‘feel good’ moments
• Your values.
Next time you want to practice assertiveness, remember to ask yourself:
• Am I being clear with what I am asking?
• Am I being brief and concise?
• Have I apologised when I didn’t need to?
• Am I being polite but firm?
• Am I be open and honest?