Sometimes, there can be a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. However, it’s important to know the difference if you want to become the best version of yourself at work. We don’t need to use fear to get people to listen, but it might be the time to put our foot down with our coworkers.
Keep eye contact
One of the most important things to remember when trying to make your point is keeping eye contact with others in the conversation. However, it’s best to avoid staring as this could be viewed as aggressive behavior. Instead, it’s thought we should be keeping contact around 70% of the time. This will show everyone else that we are interested in what they have to say as well as the fact you mutually respect one another’s opinions.
Think about your posture
Our body can speak a whole language of its own, even when our mouths are saying something entirely different. That’s why it’s key to think about our body language when talking to others at work. Is your jaw clenched? Is your face screwed up? Are your arms folded or are you using lots of hand gestures? These can all be signs that you are becoming agitated or getting defensive. Running through a mental checklist can help to avoid any unwanted tension.
Don’t accuse others
We admit that it can be easy to accuse others of what they are doing wrong or when they are putting you in a bad mood, but this isn’t likely to get you anywhere at work. Rather than pointing out everything you feel someone is doing wrong, it might be time to phrase it about yourself. Stating “I’m frustrated” rather than “You make me angry” might be one way to initiate the change.
Remember to breathe
Being criticized by someone else or having to deal with a confrontation at work can make it easy to forget to breathe. Try taking a moment or two in your own mind to avoid getting angry at everyone else in the conversation. This could even mean stepping away from the discussion until you have calmed down. After all, the chances are you will come to a much better agreement when you are both talking with a clear mind free from anger.
Prepare your points
You might need to be prepared that the other person in the conversation will have several arguments against the points you are trying to make. There is one way to help combat this issue: know what you are going to say and have your points prepared. Not only will you be able to get your opinion across clearly, but this should help you from losing control of your emotions.
While we might want to get our points and opinions across at work, we don’t have to get angry to make them. In fact, being aggressive could have the opposite effect in the long run. Instead, it’s all about being assertive with your boss or coworkers to ensure you become the best employee you can, right?