Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
April 21, 2010
Issue #7

Assert Yourself!

Some of the work-life stress we experience is the result of our discomfort with asserting ourselves.  It's a lot easier to solve problems and get our needs met if we are able to confidently speak up!

  1. Stop worrying that you'll be seen as aggressive.
    We all know what aggressive sounds and looks like, and chances are it's not you. Aggressiveness usually means acting selfishly and not regarding the needs of others. Assertiveness is about open communication which is respectful of everyone involved.

  2. Understand the reasons why you want to speak up.
    The more confident you are in your message, the more willing you'll be to take a risk and speak your mind.

  3. Consider the cost of not saying anything.
    Is it possible that by staying silent, you're not portraying the professional confidence needed to lead to a promotion? Or maybe your silence unintentionally communicates agreement with the division of household chores, even though you want them renegotiated.

  4. Don't ask a question when you really want to make a statement.
    Letting your tone of voice rise at the end of a sentence communicates that you're unsure of what you're saying. By consciously dropping your voice tone at the end of a statement, your words gain strength and you increase your credibility.

  5. Be conscious of your body language.
    Your physical presence needs to mirror the confidence in your words. Keep your posture upright with a slight forward lean, arms open (not crossed in front of you), maintain good eye contact, and focus on speaking slowly and clearly.

  6. Don't undermine yourself with your own words.
    Rather than just stating an opinion, women have a tendency to add unnecessary phrases to statements, such as "Don't you think?" "I may be wrong..." and "Forgive me if this is a dumb question..." Others will take you more seriously if you directly state, "I have some concerns about the timeline of this project."

Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


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