Have a plan
You know what you want, you know who to speak to, but do you know how it would work in practice?
It’s useful to consider every element of any change, including who it may impact and why.
By thinking about this information in advance, it shows that you are open-minded and considerate, especially when working as part of a team.
This will help any decision-maker to understand your point of view and shows broader thinking about how these changes will work in practice.
Watch your tone
Sometimes, assertiveness can be perceived as aggression. Asking for what you want can be scary, but try to be as open and calm as possible.
It’s important to remember that it’s not about winning, but about expressing your opinion while respecting yourself and those around you.
Take ownership of the situation, for example saying “I will need more time to do this”, rather than “You haven’t given me enough time for this”. Keep your voice tone calm and controlled, rather than loud and shouty.
After the conversation, thank the person for listening, as a way to maintain a good working or personal relationship.
Whether you’re asking a loved one to consider your input for the weekend plans, or asking your boss for more resources, you need a level of confidence to put your point across.
This confidence won’t always come naturally, but you can develop this over time by practicing assertiveness in everyday life, and feeling that you have the self-worth to ask for something.
The fear of a person’s reply is often worse than their actual reply, so be brave, and grow your self-esteem and let assertiveness become part of your everyday communication.