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Leadership & Communication

5 tips for being a more assertive leader

15 Jan 2014, by Informa Insights

Confident and assertive leaders often command the respect of their employees and superiors, helping them stand out for promotions and other career development opportunities.

These leadership skills mean tasks can be completed more efficiently and with less hassle than managers who are hesitant or prone to procrastination. Here are five top tips for being more assertive in the workplace.


Stand your ground

Assertive leaders are adept at avoiding being manipulated, whether it is by colleagues offloading extra work on them or employees passing the buck.

Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ and be confident in your opinions if you think they are valid.


Always remain calm

Controlling emotions is an important part of leadership development, so try to avoid giving in to anger or frustration.

This means not raising your voice and making sure not to have aggressive body language.


Be direct  

Speaking clearly is key to ensuring your message isn’t misconstrued; clear and concise instructions are often the way forward for effective leaders.

Avoid sugar coating criticisms, false flattery or vague project directions. Talking in the first person can help people to understand what you want more easily.


Don’t sit on the fence

Assertive leaders can’t be afraid to take decisive action, as delaying not only prevents problems from being solved, it can create new ones.

While you will never be quite sure you’re making the right call, by gathering all the facts and analysing the situation carefully, you have the best chance of success.


Maintain good relationships

Maintaining good relationships with other staff members might not make you more assertive, but it will help you be more successful if you already are assertive.

An admired and respected leader will encounter little resistance when introducing new ideas and workflows, while a disliked manager may get stonewalled or meet active opposition to change.

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