How to be assertive without being arrogant

We should all seek to possess good traits; however, too much of a good thing can lead to an imbalance. For instance, confidence is something everyone aspires to have; it allows a person to unlock his/her full potential without fear or hesitation. However, too much of it can taint people, making them blinded by their own hubris and become arrogant. Here are ways that you can do to reestablish balance and convert your arrogance back to confidence:

1. Reflect on your Imperfections
Sometimes, may it be because of developed expertise or unfounded self-image, a person may think of himself/herself as superior to others and decide that it is all right to project such superiority through words and actions. To counteract this perception, you must reflect on your imperfections. Acknowledge that you too possess flaws like everybody else, and that you cannot be perfect in everything you do. It is only when you accept this that you can start developing a more balanced image of yourself, something that will help you be more grounded.

2. Flaunt in Moderation
It is all right to flaunt and boast your abilities from time to time. After all, you worked hard to attain them, and you deserve the recognition. However, you should flaunt in moderation. Being proud of your football skills after a hard-earned victory is one thing, but rubbing them into other players’ faces every time you see them is another. You can brag from time to time; just don’t make it a habit.

3. Show More and Say Less
In film making, they say that showing is a better way to convey a story than telling, and perhaps the same can be said when it comes to seeking recognition without being arrogant. If you’re good at video games, then show how good you are by beating all the high-level bosses instead of typing arrogant remarks about how unbeatable you are and how weak other players are. Not only will you not be viewed as arrogant, but you will also look way cooler when people get to see you in action!

4. Exercise Humility
Even if everybody knows that you are good at something, it is still best to stay humble. This is not to say that bragging is bad; again, we already mentioned that flaunting in moderation is acceptable. However, there are situations where being humble is preferred. In fact, being down to earth despite one’s knowledge and skills makes him/her look significantly more badass!

5. Accept Constructive Criticisms
A common trait among arrogant people is that they refuse to accept any negative feedback from others. Don’t be enslaved by hubris. The more you open yourself up to constructive criticisms, the more enlightened you will be about your shortcomings. Accepting such feedback will help you realize your lapses, be more open-minded, and strive to become a better person.

6. Surround Yourself with the Right People
They say that birds of the same feather flock together. Although this proverb is not an absolute truth, it applies to the development of one’s character. If you surround yourself with other arrogant people, you’ll find it hard to see your own arrogance. Hence, exert effort in acquainting yourself with non-arrogant individuals. Not only will you get more tips to get rid of your arrogance, but by being a part of their flock, you may also develop the same down to earth character they possess.

7. Learn to Concede and Apologize
Arrogant people are often drowned by their desire to win and always be the right one that they forget to see the value of confession and apology. Their arrogance sometimes blinds them to the fact that other people’s ideas are better than their own, never conceding no matter how much evidence is laid down. Moreover, their pride hinders them from saying sorry to any person they may have offended or hurt. Hence, a key step to renouncing arrogance is learning how to accept defeat and deliver a sincere apology.

8. Allow Other People to Shine
Arrogant people, due to their bloated self-perception, believe that they should always be in the center stage, constantly showing others how great and special they are. If you want to stop being arrogant, then you must occasionally step out of the limelight. Be open to sitting at the sidelines every now and then, and let others take the stage. While you’re at it, acknowledge them, and give them the praise they deserve. If you do this, then your hubris will shrink, and your character will grow!

9. Show Respect to Others
Showing respect to others is a highly effective remedy against most personality ailments, including arrogance. If you know the value of respect, then you will never slap unsolicited conceit on other people’s faces; you will be more sensitive about their feelings and situations, and you will know when you should stop asserting and start accepting. When you respect people, you’re already half-way through getting rid of arrogance.

10. Don’t Make Everything a Competition
Don’t get me wrong; being competitive isn’t bad. However, if you compete in everything you do, then you develop a tendency to be arrogant—all in an effort to show others that you are better. Take it easy sometimes. Breathe. Stop comparing yourself to others and proving that you are better all the time. Doing this will help you appreciate your strengths without resorting to drastic measures that lead to rudeness and arrogance.

11. Love Yourself More
This is perhaps the most important thing that some people should do to not be arrogant. It may sound ironic, but sometimes, people use arrogance to hide their insecurity and protect their self-esteem. However, it’s all right to show vulnerability and embrace one’s imperfections. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself the love and acknowledgment you deserve. Try to be truly happy and confident about what you can do and rid yourself of that mask of arrogance.

Arrogance is not a permanent thing. We are all capable of being better individuals. So long as you are willing to accept your mistakes, listen to other people, and be steadfast toward self-improvement, you’ll most certainly become the confident, yet not overbearing, the person you aspire to be.

How to be assertive without being arrogant

It’s not uncommon for highly sensitive people (HSPs) to struggle with being assertive, as in, standing up for one’s rights and values in a constructive and calm way. Due to their quiet demeanor, people may talk over them and disregard their feelings and viewpoints. Because HSPs can be easily hurt, they dislike aggressive communication, and many would avoid conflict all together, hoping that the issue would simply run its course.

As an HSP, I find that I struggle with conflict. In my first year at university, I didn’t get along with my roommates. One roommate often criticized me for not adequately cleaning her dishes as we rotated doing this chore. Her argument seemed unjust considering that she had not done her fair share of housekeeping, but I was hesitant to confront her. Instead, I held an unhealthy grudge towards her during the entire time that we were roommates.

I now realize that although HSPs struggle with conflict and are frequently being stepped on by others, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be assertive. I believe that it’s a matter of learning how to control our emotions, set boundaries, and communicate our thoughts better.

Below are 5 tips to help HSPs become more assertive:

1. Set boundaries.

Because HSPs are perceptive of other people’s feelings and often have high levels of empathy, they might find themselves becoming an emotional dumping ground for other people. As an HSP and an empath, I find myself entering unhealthy relationships in the hopes of saving the other person, where I then become hurt because the relationship is too one-sided. I realize that it’s important to take control in these situations by setting boundaries.

Are your emotions keeping you from moving forward? I can teach you how to live a more empowered, fulfilling life—in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. Learn more from our partner Brenda Knowles.

Often times, I can become very absorbed by another person’s world and forget to take care of myself first. What has helped me learn to draw the line is realizing that there is only so much I can do for others, and that I can’t take care of others if I don’t take care of myself first. Most people would understand when you let them know that you need time to recharge and that it’s nothing personal on their end.

2. Communicate your feelings through assertive writing.

When it comes to dealing with conflict, I find it highly useful to communicate the issue(s) in written words. Not only does this provide immediate cathartic release, but it also helps bring clarity to the situation and is an effective tool for open communication. An important thing to keep in mind when writing a letter about your conflict with someone is to use “I feel” statements. These statements are profound because they phrase the situation so that it reflects your perspective and emotional needs without putting direct blame on the other person.

An assertive letter should explain the situation as succinctly as possible, without getting into unnecessary details. Here’s a template for you to try:

Dear __________,

Although it’s difficult for me to bring up this subject, I feel that it’s necessary to discuss this (conflict/misunderstanding). Because I feel like I can better express myself in writing, I’ve chosen to write you a letter.

Lately, I’ve been feeling hurt about (insert situation). When (the situation) happens, I feel as though I (what emotional need is not met).

This has been weighing on me and I don’t want to leave it unresolved. I would appreciate if we can straighten this out soon, but even if we can’t, I just wanted you to know how I’m feeling.

3. Be mindful of how you present yourself.

A person’s word choice and body language can reveal a lot about them. HSPs may be too humble for their own good, and unfortunately, others may perceive this as a sign of weakness and try to take advantage of them. There are certain phrases and words that should be avoided in order to sound more assertive:

  • Just—this word minimizes the power of a statement and makes you seem defensive and apologetic.
  • I’m no expert, but…—this speech habit crops up to avoid sounding pushy or arrogant, but doing so negates the credibility of the statement.
  • I can’t—this is a passive statement and implies losing control over your actions.
  • What if we tried…?—stating an idea as a question invites rebuttals and is taken less seriously than straightforward statements.
  • Sorry–apologizing for things unnecessarily not only comes off as insincere, but it also makes you less assertive.
  • Thanks! : )—overusing exclamation marks and emojis may imply that you’re insecure and concerned about being perceived as kind, worthy, and likeable.

When it comes to body language, some body gestures such as crossed arms, shoulder hunching, and lack of eye contact could indicate defensiveness and a lack of confidence. A great way to improve your body language is through public speaking. Join a public speaking club or practice talking in front of a camera to build confidence and stage presence.

4. Don’t take things personally.

For HSPs, this is easier said than done. But keep in mind that people often project their negative emotions onto others because they struggle to cope with their own problems. Acknowledging this has helped me create a filter and take things less personally. I also try to understand why I feel defensive in certain situations and recognize that taking things too personally gives certain individuals more power over me than they deserve. As Eleanor Rooselvelt says, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

5. Take control of your happiness.

Finally, I’ve learned that my happiness does not depend on other people. Caring about what others think of me, needing people’s validation, and not giving myself time to relax and breathe makes me miserable. Below are some quotes that I find inspirational when it comes to taking control of my own happiness:

  • “Life’s too short to care what others think.” —unknown
  • “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” —Albert Camus
  • “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” —Marcus AureliusDid you enjoy this article? Sign up for our newsletters to get more stories like this.

How to be assertive without being arrogant

THE SCENARIO

When we hear the word assertive we often think: forceful and aggressive; however, being assertive is better viewed as a comfort with speaking on your own behalf. It’s having the self-assurance to communicate your perspective, rights, and needs.

When we lack assertiveness we avoid conversations in which we have to ask for what we want, and we shy away from sharing opinions that others might disagree with. One of the biggest obstacles to assertiveness is the belief that speaking up for yourself is hostile and combative.

As many of my clients ask, “How can I be assertive without being offensive?” When we aren’t comfortable speaking up, it feels like we only have two choices: say nothing or be offensive. These are not your only choices. There’s a healthy middle ground. It’s all about how we say it, our tone.

THE SOLUTION

Tone imbues our communication with emotionality and intention. It gives our communication a temperament. Three common communication temperaments are passive, assertive, and aggressive.

Here’s a breakdown of how to identify them:

PASSIVE COMMUNICATION Sends the message: You’re uncertain. You feel tentative. You position yourself as lacking the authority and credibility to speak about the topic.

ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION Sends the message: You’re assured. You feel confident. You position yourself as having the authority and credibility to speak about the topic.

AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION Sends the message: You’re dominating. You feel arrogant. You position yourself as having both authority and superiority when speaking about the topic.

MORE RESOURCES

For examples about how assertive communication can be used in the workplace when clarifying deadlines, giving your co-workers accountability and asking for help from your manager check out our e-book, A Guide To Self-Advocacy or book a free consultation.

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Here’s how to be assertive in the workplace without rubbing people up the wrong way. — Contributed by Jobstreet.com

Having the confidence to be assertive in the workplace is important, but knowing how to be assertive without being bossy is just as essential. Respect goes both ways; you have to show it in order to earn it. If people don’t respect you, you won’t be an effective leader. So be confident, but don’t be arrogant.

Don’t be presumptuous

You should speak up when you have an opinion or suggestion to share, but don’t presume to know everything. Show humility by acknowledging that someone else might have better ideas to contribute. You can be confident without being an annoying know-it-all.

Lead by example

People respect those who do more than they talk. Expressing your views is important to be an assertive figure in the workplace, but make sure you lead by example too. You need to walk the talk to be an effective leader, or you’ll be disregarded as the person who talks a good game but doesn’t have a clue what he or she is talking about.

Take on more leadership roles

Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. Take the opportunity to hone your leadership skills by volunteering for management projects or tasks that place you in a leadership position. It might be intimidating, but we can only grow by embracing challenges. This will give you an opportunity to ask your team members and boss for feedback so you’ll know what to improve on, moving forward.

Choose your words carefully

Just as the right words can project confidence, so can the wrong choice of words paint you as a bossy colleague who’s trying too hard to assert themselves in the workplace. Speak to others the way you’d like to be spoken to. Don’t be a shrinking violet, but don’t be patronizing either.

Know what you’re talking about

No single person knows everything there is to know, but refrain from making grand statements or claims if you’re not reasonably confident that you’ve got your facts straight. What’s worse than not having anything to say is making exaggerated claims that are later found out to be untrue.

Learn from the experts

Read books on leadership by experts on the subject, attend workshops, listen to podcasts or watch TED talks. There are so many avenues of learning available to us these days. Learn from those who know what effective leadership looks like and how to develop those skills.

As with everything in life, it’s all about balance. Confidence without arrogance is key when being assertive in the workplace.

Five steps for being assertive without being aggressive

THE BASICS

  • What Is Assertiveness?
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How to be assertive without being arrogant

People often tell me they admire my courage to demand what I need. I don’t see it as courage. I see it as being clear and direct about what I need to do my work and support my health.

There seems to be a misunderstanding between what is being polite and what is taking care of yourself. This varies by location, culture, and upbringing, but I experience some level of this conflict everywhere in the world I travel and teach.

Most people learn to alter their self-expression in accordance with their society’s expectations. Often, these rules are outdated, passed down through generations without much thought to how they relate to success in today’s world.

In addition to assimilating what is supposed to be correct self-expression, we fear how others might judge us if we declare what we think and define what we believe is necessary. The judgment of “too assertive” is often placed on women and subordinates. Labels like “self-serving,” “egotistic” and “insensitive” are given when we state our opinions and attempt to take care of ourselves.

The fear of judgment holds us back from being open and honest in our self-expression. Clinical psychologist and coach Lloyd Thomas says when we are inhibited in our self-expression, “We remain dependent and helpless in our self-care. We may even become ill.”¹

Being aggressive is different from being assertive. Aggressiveness has a punishing tone; your requests or opinions have the intention of making others wrong. Your desire is to be better, put them in their place, or demonstrate you have more of something than they have, such as wanting to show you have more knowledge, power, or privilege than others do.

You can be assertive without being aggressive by not attacking anybody else. When you are being assertive, you are standing up for yourself and what you believe.

I have experienced difficult lessons that have taught me the distinction between being aggressive and being assertive with my requests. The following five steps combine academic knowledge with hard-learned lessons to help you be successful and healthy without hurting others. Use these five practices to be clear and direct when expressing your needs and ideas:

  1. Concisely state what you want and be willing to repeat your request when you hear excuses. Ask repetitively and firmly for what you want to have or create. Let others know you heard what they said and then ask what it would take to change or if they would be willing to explore a different solution. For example: “I know your standard practice is ____, and I still need a larger room. What will it take for you to get me what I need?” Or, “I understand that you believe you have solved this problem before. I see new variables this time and think we should try a different approach. Would you be willing to hear my suggestion and then see if we can negotiate a way forward?” Repeat the request until you get a positive response even if it is reluctantly given.
  2. Repeat your understanding of the other’s point of view. Example: “I understand you feel badly about letting the person go. We need the right people to act wisely and swiftly and with the right attitude to make the changes we need to succeed going forward. To ensure we have the best team, I need you to have this conversation. What date can you set to make this happen?” Or, “I know you are wanting to help by telling me I need these supplements but I don’t agree. Let’s move on to a new topic.”
  3. Offer solutions to problems. Don’t just complain. State what you need to solve your dilemma or offer an idea that could resolve the bigger issue. Example: “I know it is ritual for everyone to go to dinner after the event, but my evenings end by 8pm. I would like to start dinner earlier. Can we work this out?” Make your request and confidently stand in the silence. Others may have to override their old opinions before they are open to work with you.
  4. Avoid believing your ideas or feelings are more important than theirs. You are stating your needs and ideas cleanly without arrogance. They have reason to believe they are right. If you are persistent, they should consider your request but this won’t always happen. If you reach a stalemate, know if you need to walk away or if you can acknowledge their position and offer a compromise.
  5. Ignore if they criticize your assertiveness. Discard it without apology. You are exerting your right to express yourself. Even if they refuse, you can walk away knowing you stood up for yourself.

Don’t hold yourself back from stating what you want and offering your ideas. You may be judged as aggressive but you cannot fulfill your potential when you hold yourself back. Regretting what you did not do is more difficult to bear than being disappointed when you don’t get what you want. You can move beyond disappointment. You can’t redo what you regret.

We should all seek to possess good traits; however, too much of a good thing can lead to an imbalance. For instance, confidence is something everyone aspires to have; it allows a person to unlock his/her full potential without fear or hesitation. However, too much of it can taint people, making them blinded by their own hubris and become arrogant. Here are ways that you can do to reestablish balance and convert your arrogance back to confidence:

1. Reflect on your Imperfections
Sometimes, may it be because of developed expertise or unfounded self-image, a person may think of himself/herself as superior to others and decide that it is all right to project such superiority through words and actions. To counteract this perception, you must reflect on your imperfections. Acknowledge that you too possess flaws like everybody else, and that you cannot be perfect in everything you do. It is only when you accept this that you can start developing a more balanced image of yourself, something that will help you be more grounded.

2. Flaunt in Moderation
It is all right to flaunt and boast your abilities from time to time. After all, you worked hard to attain them, and you deserve the recognition. However, you should flaunt in moderation. Being proud of your football skills after a hard-earned victory is one thing, but rubbing them into other players’ faces every time you see them is another. You can brag from time to time; just don’t make it a habit.

3. Show More and Say Less
In film making, they say that showing is a better way to convey a story than telling, and perhaps the same can be said when it comes to seeking recognition without being arrogant. If you’re good at video games, then show how good you are by beating all the high-level bosses instead of typing arrogant remarks about how unbeatable you are and how weak other players are. Not only will you not be viewed as arrogant, but you will also look way cooler when people get to see you in action!

4. Exercise Humility
Even if everybody knows that you are good at something, it is still best to stay humble. This is not to say that bragging is bad; again, we already mentioned that flaunting in moderation is acceptable. However, there are situations where being humble is preferred. In fact, being down to earth despite one’s knowledge and skills makes him/her look significantly more badass!

5. Accept Constructive Criticisms
A common trait among arrogant people is that they refuse to accept any negative feedback from others. Don’t be enslaved by hubris. The more you open yourself up to constructive criticisms, the more enlightened you will be about your shortcomings. Accepting such feedback will help you realize your lapses, be more open-minded, and strive to become a better person.

6. Surround Yourself with the Right People
They say that birds of the same feather flock together. Although this proverb is not an absolute truth, it applies to the development of one’s character. If you surround yourself with other arrogant people, you’ll find it hard to see your own arrogance. Hence, exert effort in acquainting yourself with non-arrogant individuals. Not only will you get more tips to get rid of your arrogance, but by being a part of their flock, you may also develop the same down to earth character they possess.

7. Learn to Concede and Apologize
Arrogant people are often drowned by their desire to win and always be the right one that they forget to see the value of confession and apology. Their arrogance sometimes blinds them to the fact that other people’s ideas are better than their own, never conceding no matter how much evidence is laid down. Moreover, their pride hinders them from saying sorry to any person they may have offended or hurt. Hence, a key step to renouncing arrogance is learning how to accept defeat and deliver a sincere apology.

8. Allow Other People to Shine
Arrogant people, due to their bloated self-perception, believe that they should always be in the center stage, constantly showing others how great and special they are. If you want to stop being arrogant, then you must occasionally step out of the limelight. Be open to sitting at the sidelines every now and then, and let others take the stage. While you’re at it, acknowledge them, and give them the praise they deserve. If you do this, then your hubris will shrink, and your character will grow!

9. Show Respect to Others
Showing respect to others is a highly effective remedy against most personality ailments, including arrogance. If you know the value of respect, then you will never slap unsolicited conceit on other people’s faces; you will be more sensitive about their feelings and situations, and you will know when you should stop asserting and start accepting. When you respect people, you’re already half-way through getting rid of arrogance.

10. Don’t Make Everything a Competition
Don’t get me wrong; being competitive isn’t bad. However, if you compete in everything you do, then you develop a tendency to be arrogant—all in an effort to show others that you are better. Take it easy sometimes. Breathe. Stop comparing yourself to others and proving that you are better all the time. Doing this will help you appreciate your strengths without resorting to drastic measures that lead to rudeness and arrogance.

11. Love Yourself More
This is perhaps the most important thing that some people should do to not be arrogant. It may sound ironic, but sometimes, people use arrogance to hide their insecurity and protect their self-esteem. However, it’s all right to show vulnerability and embrace one’s imperfections. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself the love and acknowledgment you deserve. Try to be truly happy and confident about what you can do and rid yourself of that mask of arrogance.

Arrogance is not a permanent thing. We are all capable of being better individuals. So long as you are willing to accept your mistakes, listen to other people, and be steadfast toward self-improvement, you’ll most certainly become the confident, yet not overbearing, the person you aspire to be.

How to be assertive without being arrogant

Many people think that being assertive is the same as being aggressive but the two things are quite different. Assertive communication is confident communication that someone uses to put ideas forward and make their feelings or needs known. An assertive communication style can be a big asset when you are leading a team, interviewing for a job, or participating in a class at school.

Being able to communicate assertively with the proper skills is a real an asset, while aggressive communication can quickly create a toxic environment and/or drive people away leading to failed relationships.

Learning how to communicate assertively is something that a lot of people struggle with. A communications skills course like one that is taught by PsychCompany can teach anyone how to communicate more effectively and confidently.

Assertive vs Aggressive

The assertive communication definition is communication that is confident, whereas the definition of aggressive communication is forceful or belligerent. It’s easy to see why people think that aggressive and assertive mean the same thing. But they are very different.

Techniques to communicate with assertiveness focus on an individual respecting the rights of others as well their own needs. Aggressive communication is usually not respectful of anyone else and it can be very angry or forceful.

In contrast, assertive communication skills emphasize talking about issues or problems using “I” statement that don’t make assumptions about the feelings of others. Aggressive communication doesn’t take the rights or feeling of others into consideration at all.

Assertive Communication Examples

These assertive communication examples should highlight the difference between aggressive communication and assertive communication:

Helping your friend move

A friend asks you to help them move. You already had a bad day and you had planned on some self-care after work including a peaceful dinner and some time spent reading to calm down and restore your peace of mind. Assertive communication in this type of situation would be to politely tell your friend that you had a bad day and need some downtime tonight but you could help them tomorrow or another day. This type of “I” statement emphasizes what you need but is polite and constructive and offers a solution in that you will help them another time.

Coworker steals your idea

A coworker steals your idea and pitches it to your boss in a meeting. Assertive communication in this type of situation means remaining calm and polite but pointing out to your coworker and to your boss that the idea was yours and that you would be happy to work with that person to get their input on taking the idea to the next level.

Asking for help

You are in a class and the professor finishes a topic and then moves on to the next but you are still confused about the previous topic. Assertive communication in this case would be raising your hand and asking the professor to repeat a section or go over the material again because you didn’t understand it. Politely asking for clarification when you don’t understand is assertive, not aggressive. Assertive communication techniques are positive and confident.

Communication Tips At Work

The place where most people could really use some help with assertive communication is at work. The workplace is fraught with communication landmines because of different people with different communication styles all trying to work together. Assertive communication is great for the workplace because it stresses a respectful understanding of the positions of others on important topics while not giving up your autonomy or letting someone minimize your needs or rights. Some helpful assertive communication tips for work are:

If you have an issue that needs to be addressed with a coworker talk to them about it privately. Brining up issues where all your other coworkers can hear can be seen as aggressive, not assertive.

Keep your language positive and focused on solutions, not blame. Blaming is aggressive but confidently looking for a solution to a problem is assertive.

Keep the lines of communication open. If you’re leading a team make sure that you check in with each team member individually and make sure they know that they come to you with questions or concerns. That way you won’t have to worry about your team trying to go around you when they have problems.

Body Language Counts

Use the right body language to emphasis that your communication is positive and not aggressive in nature. Make eye contact. Keep your body language open and friendly not closed off. Don’t cross your arms over your chest or turn away from the person that you’re talking to. Listen intently and when you speak do so using positive language. Don’t make assumptions about what your coworker is saying and don’t judge. Remember to stay focused on making “I” statements about your own feelings. Don’t tell anyone else what they feel or think.

Assertive communication is the key to getting what you want and building good relationships with the important people in your life while still respecting your own needs.

How to be assertive without being arrogant

Having the confidence to be assertive in the workplace is important, but knowing how to be assertive without being bossy is just as essential. Respect goes both ways – you have to show it in order to earn it. If people don’t respect you, you won’t be an effective leader. So be confident, but don’t be arrogant.

Here’s how to be assertive in the workplace without rubbing people up the wrong way:

1. Don’t be presumptuous

You should speak up when you have an opinion or suggestion to share, but don’t presume to know everything. Show humility by acknowledging that someone else might have better ideas to contribute. You can be confident without being an annoying know-it-all.

2. Lead by example

People respect those who do more than they talk. Expressing your views is important to be an assertive figure in the workplace, but make sure you lead by example too. You need to walk the talk to be an effective leader, or you’ll be disregarded as the person who talks a good game but doesn’t have a clue what he or she is talking about.

3. Take on more leadership roles

Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. Take the opportunity to hone your leadership skills by volunteering for management projects or tasks that place you in a leadership position. It might be intimidating, but we can only grow by embracing challenges. This will give you an opportunity to ask your team members and boss for feedback so you’ll know what to improve on, moving forward.

4. Choose your words carefully

Just as the right words can project confidence, so can the wrong choice of words paint you as a bossy colleague who’s trying too hard to assert themselves in the workplace. Speak to others the way you’d like to be spoken to. Don’t be a shrinking violet, but don’t be patronizing either.

5. Know what you’re talking about

No single person knows everything there is to know, but refrain from making grand statements or claims if you’re not reasonably confident that you’ve got your facts straight. What’s worse than not having anything to say is making exaggerated claims that are later found out to be untrue.

6. Learn from the experts

Read books on leadership by experts on the subject, attend workshops, listen to podcasts or watch TED talks. There are so many avenues of learning available to us these days. Learn from those who know what effective leadership looks like and how to develop those skills.

As with everything in life, it’s all about balance. Confidence without arrogance is key when being assertive in the workplace.

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