How To Be More Assertive
There was this study, I think it was in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and it talked about “agreeableness.”
Now, there are two things that determine this personality trait.
First one is, how much you value getting along with others.
And the second is, how critical you are of others.
So in this study, they found out something interesting.
Turns out, those who are highly agreeable earn less than the ones who are disagreeable. And the difference is as much as $10,000 per year.
See, even if disagreeable people tend to lose their jobs more often, they still make more money.
Another thing they found out is, people who are agreeable, specifically men, are not usually seen as potential leaders.
So, I guess you can see here that being agreeable all the time isn’t the best for career advancement.
You’re gonna have to be disagreeable. To be assertive.
Now, let me explain this further.
When you want the best opportunities, when you want to have the best career, you’re not gonna get it by always being agreeable.
Let’s say you want to get promoted. Of course, you’ll need to be assertive. You need to take risks and ask for opportunities.
But then, here’s the thing with agreeableness, a lot of agreeable people don’t like asking, and it’s because they don’t want to risk disagreeing with anyone.
So if you wanna get promoted but don’t wanna risk disagreements, then you’re not gonna get that opportunity.
Now, it’s clear to you that wanting to be agreeable all the time will make it hard for you to be assertive.
So, if you know that you tend to be more agreeable, then I’m gonna help you.
I’m gonna share with you how you can be more assertive.
Now take note, being assertive, being disagreeable, it’s not the same as being unpleasant or being a jerk. It’s not anything like that. It’s all about balancing your personality.
Read the article of deniz sasal, this man will tell you his story of failure to success.
So, what steps can you take to do this?
First, you can make these changes in your language.
You can get rid of expressions that make you sound uncertain.
I’m sure you’re heard of these.
For example, you want to change the way you’re doing a project.
Instead of saying, “I was thinking, maybe we should kind of…do this and that…”
You could sound more uncertain. And you can do this by taking out words like “kind of” and “sort of” and “probably.”
And another thing, it’s better to use the present tense when you mean it.
You could say, “I think we should do this.” Instead something that sounds hesitant like “I was thinking we should do this.”
See, these changes in how you talk, it makes a difference.
It makes you sound more certain. It makes what you’re saying sound more important.
Okay, and then next, another thing you can do is this.
When you’re asking for something. Or when you’re suggesting an idea.
It’s gonna help if you give your reason.
You see, having a short explanation why you’re asking for things, it also makes you sound more certain.
And it always helps when people understand why your request or idea matters.
Alright, so next thing, know how to separate ideas from people.
It’s easier to be critical when you can set aside your personal biases.
You see, when discussing plans in a meeting, you probably tend to just agree with your manager’s ideas.
Maybe because you just don’t wanna argue or you just assume that there are no flaws.
But either way, try to forget about who said it. Forget about your manager for a while. Try to focus on the idea itself.
You see, at work, you all have goals. You have KPIs.
And when you don’t allow yourself to think critically, because you want to be agreeable, here’s what happens.
You hold back value. You hold back improvement for your team. And for the company.
And here’s another thing.
Next time you find yourself holding back, just think about this. Your managers, they don’t feel bad asking you things and giving you feedback. So, as long as you know your reasons, you shouldn’t feel bad about doing the same.