The start of a new year is the perfect time to make resolutions that can help you live a better life, whether they be personal or professional. For many people, one of their primary professional goals can be to show more assertiveness in the workplace.

It’s important to be assertive at work, and not doing so can lead you to be left behind when it comes to promotions and new opportunities. Typically those employees that have mastered the art of assertiveness without being too aggressive tend to fare best in the workplace, so below are some tips that can help you do the same as you start 2017.

Take the Time to Be Present and Listen

You might find it odd that taking the time to listen is first on this list of tips to help you be more assertive this year, but in reality, it’s one of the most important things to consider before you start to speak up.

You don’t want to be speaking up just to do it. You want to be purposeful and smart with your assertions and requests, and to do that you need to stop browsing Facebook during your weekly work meetings, and instead start being in-tune with what’s happening around you.

Know Your Value

So many people have a hard time speaking up for what they want at work because they simply don’t know their own value. If they have successes in the workplace they tend to credit them to things outside of their control, such as luck.

Start the new year by taking an inventory of your successes and contributions in your workplace. Outline for yourself how you bring value to your employer, and keep that inventory maintained throughout the year.

Having this handy can help you if you need leverage when it comes to something like negotiating a raise, but it can also simply help you feel more confident. 

Work On Your Body Language

Being confident, assertive and powerful in the workplace isn’t just about what you say. In fact, a lot of it comes down to your body language. 

Take some time at the beginning of this year to learn about the role of body language in the workplace. Practice poses that will show that you’re open but also strong and believe in what you’re saying.

It’s the unspoken things that you do that can often have the biggest impact on your career and also your interpersonal interactions throughout your life.

Be Aware That Assertive Doesn’t Mean Aggressive

Often people have a hard time finding that right balance between assertive and aggressive. You may go from being completely passive and timid to being overwhelmingly aggressive, and that’s not likely to help your career.

Being assertive doesn’t mean that you’re unkind or unlikable and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re a bully. 

Rather, you’re willing to share your opinions and ask for what you want in a way that’s firm, consistent and respectful.

On the other hand, an aggressive employee is someone who would not let others talk, or who would shoot down input from co-workers in an insulting way.

Every new year does provide new opportunities to set goals for yourself, and if your goal is to be assertive in the workplace, the tips above can help you get started.


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