Hopefully, through reading this article, you will understand the major influence assertiveness and confidence can have on business and determine whether or not you do, or should, possess them.
It is important to know that assertiveness is not a necessity in every area of business. In fact, whilst it may be encouraged in several, there are very few where it would be considered a must have commodity. Too much assertiveness in one workplace can cause arguments and friction, so there must also be people who are just happy getting on with the work. Less assertive people usually have different strengths and get things done in different ways to more confidently spoken people. Very assertive people often favour working with others and expressing their ideas in large groups rather than working on a project on their own. For this reason, quieter people who are happy with no-one else around can often find themselves finishing off others work. Strengths and weaknesses of each type of person help to create a sort of equilibrium in the workplace. Also, when communicating, less assertive people are good at listening to others and taking ideas on board and generally co-operating with their peers.
In terms of self-confidence, whilst this may possibly be considered slightly more of a strength than assertiveness, it can still be of detriment to individuals. For example, people with less confidence tend to get straight to the point when they are speaking due to the fact that they may not be as comfortable partaking in phatic conversation. Less confident people are also often more reliable as they become more concerned about what could happen to them if they, for example, do not hand an assignment in on time. It is important for people who are slightly lacking in self confidence to realise their strengths and, if they are content with their self-esteem, then getting on with their work in an effective way that works for them.
However, if some of you still decide that you would like to boost your assertiveness and self-confidence, there are several ways to do this. Firstly, it is very important for you to know your subject well so that you can have fluent conversations about it with people. Have facts and details relating to the situation to hand. It is also helpful to ask good open questions to keep productive conversations flowing. Finally, be quick and aggressive with your ‘trigger responses’. These can give you thinking time and help develop your new persona as a more confident person.
If you decide to take the development of your character on, here are several things you may be interested in:
- IIR Management Development aim to provide courses to improve your skills in the area of self-esteem.
- Leading Edge can help you focus on furthering your knowledge on how assertiveness and self-confidence can help in business.
- Train in a Day can provide bespoke training strategies for both you and your organisation to develop your understanding and your own confidence and assertiveness skills.
by Tom Witcomb