3 Ways to Stand Up for Yourself at Work

by | May 12, 2022

stand up for yourself at work

Do you find yourself starting your emails with “Sorry to bother you,” or “Hello, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out,” If so, then you need to take a step back and realize you need to be more assertive. Especially if you have been at your job for a lengthy period of time, it is time to let your confidence shine! Start your emails with: “I have a matter I would like to discuss with you,” or “I would like to discuss a project to start with the company.” It is important to not confuse assertion with arrogance. Your boss is still the boss at the end of it all; however, strong leadership traits would make you more eligible for a promotion. What are some other ways you can be more assertive and stand up for yourself at work? Let’s take a look. 

1. Stand Up For Your Needs 

Oftentimes, I see horror stories from workplaces denying time off when an employee desperately needs it. Whether it is a child’s dentist appointment, vacation, or family event—some employers deny the request. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you stand your ground. Especially if it is something that means a lot to you or a pre planned trip. Rather than getting angry, upset or over explaining…simply say: “I have requested off July 2nd to July 5th. Thank you for accommodating me and I will see you when I return on July 6th.” Life outside of work matters just as much as your job does. If you need to take a mental health break, or if you want to take a vacation with your family, do it!

2. Practice Tone and Body Language

Tone and body language are key points when it comes to any form of communication. Someone thinking that you have a negative tone can turn into a completely different discussion. If your arms are folded as you are giving someone feedback, the person receiving it can take it the wrong way. Not sure how to start practicing? Check out this book by Tonya Reiman who dives into the importance of body language and how it can completely change your professional and personal life. There are also resources for finding your tone and you can find that here! These are essential to becoming more assertive so take the time to learn more about them. 

3. Make Your Presence Known 

The title to this can seem a bit daunting; however, networking is great to do in the workplace if you work in a larger office. Make connections (even if it is just on LinkedIn), make conversations in the break room, get to know your cubicle neighbors, take the time to learn about who your company hires. If you find yourself in an issue, you can ask for help. Being assertive doesn’t mean you never have to ask for help again. If you’re going the extra mile and being genuine with your connections with others—being assertive will be easier. Instead of getting mad at things you can’t control in the office, focus on what you can do, as well as the others you took the time to know!

It Takes Time 

If you are a passive person by nature, being assertive can be a challenge. You got this! You are a confident and well rounded employee who has the willpower to stand up for yourself and the others who work in the company. Being assertive can bring peace to conflicts, grow engagement with other employees, and overall make the job more enjoyable for yourself! Have any other tips? Let us know at BetterYou! 

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