How Can I Become More Persuasive And Assertive At Work?
To become more persuasive and assertive at work, you have to begin with small changes to your current behaviours. First, determine where you want to be and how you want to behave. Then, do an assessment of where you are now. Perhaps you can ask a few trusted people around you. That will give you a gap that you can start to close in on.
Being persuasive and assertive is different to being passive and/or aggressive. The objective is to be seen in an engaging and positive way. You want to attract others to you and be a source of effective communication.
It is not enough to simply share your thoughts and feelings. You want to do so in a manner that encourages thought, action and change when necessary. Your aim is to be genuine, convincing and clear with your reasoning and about your purpose.
When you are persuasive and assertive you give few, if any, mixed signals.
This article will share some tips and actions that may help you improve your effectiveness in these areas.
What Is The Difference Between Assertiveness Skills And Persuasion Skills?
So, let’s begin by understanding the differences between assertiveness skills and persuasion skills. One may be a prerequisite for the other and in turn, lend support to its continued development.
When you function assertively, you are in a better position to communicate effectively. This means that you are able to behave appropriately in situations. You articulate your thoughts and feelings clearly and take time to understand the intention of others.
You are able to use this solid foundation of communication to your advantage when working to share your thoughts and ideas. This ability to pivot allows you to attractively engage others and move them closer towards your goals and objectives.
This is the essence of healthy persuasion. It is a key skill in management and leadership.
Healthy and effective persuasion shakes hands with assertive behaviour and vice versa. This passing on creates a continued cycle of strength and confidence.
How Do You Become More Assertive?
So here’s the thing.
To become more assertive, you have to know where you stand now.on, perhaps using a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being the least and 10 being the highest. Without making this too complicated and getting into psychometric assessments such as the Myers-Briggs indicator, you may want to start by asking people who are close to you for feedback.
- How do they see you?
- Do they find you assertive?
- What behaviours from you do they find most engaging or compelling?
Keep your questions simple and open-ended to allow them to share freely with you.
When you know where you are now and where you want to be, you will understand the width or depth of what is lacking.
Another approach that is not used anywhere near enough is to observe and listen. That means speaking less and paying greater attention to what is NOT being said.
We are all gifted with intuition. It is a behavioural muscle that we allow to rest peacefully because we do not exercise it enough – or at all. When you raise your intuition, you begin to relate more astutely to what is happening around you. With that knowledge, you can more clearly define the situation and be clearer about the changes needed to improve your assertiveness.
How Can I Be Less Easily Persuaded?
To ensure that you are not swaying all over in the breeze, you may want to be less easily persuaded. This is deeply rooted in your own feelings of confidence, self-worth and self-esteem. If for any reason, you function with self-doubt and uncertainty, it will be very easy for you to be swayed.
This is not to be confused with control over others, making demands or arrogance. On the one hand, you cannot be weak if you do not enjoy being easily persuaded. On the other hand, you cannot take this to the other side by being immovable or fully locked in.
You must have your viewpoints which you use to anchor yourself. These will be grounded in your beliefs and goals. From time to time, you may want to change them because of your experiences or differences in what you want to achieve.
An easy first step is to practice saying “no” if you do not want to do something. This action completely changed my life. To be accepted, I spent a lot of time following others and helping them to achieve their goals. By the time I got to see about myself, I was exhausted.
The simple act of saying “no” and putting myself first, created more joy and simplicity in my life.
Why Do You Need To Persuade People?
You need to persuade people in your role as manager and leader within an organisation. This also applies to you as an individual and in your personal life. Remember though, that you can only persuade if your beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions are firmly rooted.
How can you encourage someone to adapt their thoughts and ideas if you yourself do not believe in what you are saying, thinking or doing? You must be able to assertively communicate why what you want makes sense.
Although persuading can move from reasoning to arguing, it is always better to function from the place of reasoning. Within that space, you have greater control of yourself and the situation. When you are in an argumentative state, you risk losing balanced thinking and appropriate behaviour. Your message gets lost quickly as the focus is mostly on how you are behaving and not what you are communicating.
That is not the way to “win people over” to your way of thinking. It certainly is not the most effective way to establish trust and gain followers.
Closing Thoughts . . .
It is not difficult to be more persuasive and assertive at work but you must be willing to make some changes to your current way of functioning. If you want different results, you cannot hold on to the way that you do things now. There is always room for improvement and becoming better human beings and being better at what we do.
Years ago, when I was nested in my introvertedness, my behaviours tended to be weighted more on the passive-aggressive side of doing things. I was either still, alone and quiet or getting into judging and arguing with others. It took years of introspection and conscious effort to change my thinking, feelings and actions.
Over time, I became congruent and there was refreshing ease in the way that I communicated with people around me. My work was more organised and involved less emotive fire-fighting. I was able to achieve more in a day and gain greater respect from my peers, direct reports and managers.
My life changed, for the better. With less stress, I also became healthier and happier. The possibilities are endless when you change your script.