Sisterhood Agenda

When To Be Assertive At Work

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Being assertive at work is a slippery slope. Women, especially in the workplace, are often judged differently than men. When you stay quiet, they say you’re weak and when you speak your mind, they say that you’re aggressive or worse, you’re a b*tch.

So, when do we women need to be assertive at work? There’s a thin line between being assertive and aggressive and we’re here to trace that line.

Have you ever sat in a meeting and listened to your co-worker say something you’re against but then you’re not sure if anyone will agree with you, so you just sat there nodding, but tightly, as if you are holding yourself back from speaking.

The meeting went on and ended with you holding your tongue when you know deep inside you should have spoken.

This article will help you find the courage to be assertive and know when to stand still.

1.) Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially if you know you’re right

Take for example the meeting I mentioned above, you don’t have to disagree right away. Sometimes, you have to listen to take it in and understand their point.

Seek the common ground. Explain firmly yet respectively how your opinions or solutions are different and how you all can put your minds together to make it work.

Despite being eagerly passionate about your own beliefs, you should allow others to disagree. Besides, it is important to see both sides of the coin.

A healthy disagreement can bring excellent solutions. It is also needed for smart decision-making.  Check out all the angles, possibilities, and outcomes.

However, you need to be firm on where you stand so that your colleagues realize that you acknowledged and considered their opinions without changing your own.

2) Have courage

For example, you want to enter a male-dominated field, for example, politics. Yes, you certainly can. However, you have to be ready for whatever will be thrown at you.  Know your strengths and weaknesses and choose your battles.

Whether you succeed or not, there’s no guarantee that an opponent will not scrutinize you, get personal, or discredit you.

You don’t always have to approach issues with guns blazing. You can take the high road but first, have the courage to do so.

As women, we face challenges in our daily lives and you need to have the courage to power through despite these challenges.

3.) Be open to constructive criticism

While you are firm in your own beliefs, listening to what other people have to say is still helpful.  Also, being self-aware and accepting your shortcomings makes you become a better person.  Be open to constant improvement.

4.) Stand by your principles

It’s not a secret that in any field, office politics and sexual harassment are likely prevalent. If you’re new at your job and they want you to do an immoral act that is against your values and principles, don’t be afraid to say no.

Being assertive is knowing when to say no.

This won’t be a walk in the park especially if your job is on the line – but think about it:  you can be successful in your field without crossing a line.

If you feel threatened, seek help from organizations that help women who are under these circumstances.

5.) Stay grounded and be compassionate

Being a woman means being both strong and compassionate.  Many of us, not all, have motherly instincts that can help us be nurturing.  Yet, we are all different and you have to stay aligned with your true self.

In our quest to succeed, we get busy being productive, proving ourselves to the world. We sometimes forget to stay grounded.

As you continue to chase your dreams, keep in mind that you cannot succeed fully in life, and have peace if you are too proud, too assertive, and have zero humility.

Don’t trample on the dreams of other people just to get to yours.  Keep your moral code in check. It’s lonely at the top when you don’t have peace.

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

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