Assert Yourself (Steps to Success)

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Assert yourself
How to find your voice and
make your mark

First published in 2004 by
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Reprinted in 2006 by
A & C Black Publishers Ltd
38 Soho Square
London W1D 3HB
© Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2004
© A & C Black 2006
All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Publisher.

No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organisation acting or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by A & C Black or the authors.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library. eISBN-13: 978-1-4081-0254-1
Design by Fiona Pike, Pike Design, Winchester
Typeset by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk
Printed in Spain by Graphycems
A & C Black uses paper produced with elemental chlorine-free pulp, harvested from managed sustainable forests.

Contents
How assertive are you?

iv

1 Communicating assertively at work

1

2 Developing presence

11

3 Building confidence at work

20

4 Managing others’ perceptions

29

5 Using non-verbal communication

39

6 Dealing with stressful relationships and
bullying

50

7 Improving leadership skills

64

8 Negotiating the pay rise you deserve

76

Where to find more help

86

Index

88

How assertive are you?
Answer the questions and work out where you
are on the assertiveness scale, then read the
guidance points for ideas on how to get the most
positive response from those around you.

How often do you feel ‘put upon’ at work?
a) Regularly, but it is what I expect.
b) I generally feel in control of my workload.
c) Colleagues have finally realised that I am not to be
imposed upon.
How do you feel when someone seeks your opinion?
a) Very grateful as it happens so rarely.
b) I feel happy that they value my judgments.
c) Colleagues usually know my opinions already—if they
have to ask they weren’t listening!
It’s your annual review and you feel you deserve a decent
pay rise. Which is closest to your approach?
a) I wait for them to mention it. They know their budgets.
b) I explain how I’ve progressed, and why I deserve a rise. c) I demand a pay rise—or else!
You’re having a discussion with someone who isn’t giving you a chance to respond. What do you do?

iv

How assertive are you?
a) Wait and listen. They may have something valuable to say. b) Make eye contact and let my body language show I’m
about to speak, before starting to make my point.
c) Talk louder than them—they’ll soon stop and listen!
If a colleague asks you to do something which isn’t in your job remit, what do you do?
a) Try to fit it in—it’s important to be as helpful as possible. b) It may provide a useful learning experience, so try to fit it in, but make sure they know I’m doing them a favour.
c) Refuse—it’s their job and their responsibility.
How do you feel about your managers?
a) I worry that they don’t think much of me.
b) I respect their experience. We’re all on the same team. c) I don’t think much of them, so try to avoid them so I can get on with my job.
A colleague stops by to chat but stays too long, preventing
you from getting on with your work. What do you do?
a) Let them stay, and resign myself to staying late to finish. b) Explain that I have a deadline to meet and suggest they
return another time.
c) Tell them to stop bothering me—can’t they see I’m busy? You suspect a colleague dislikes you, but aren’t sure why. How do you deal with this?
a) Pretend I’m unaware of their attitude and try my best to avoid them.
b) Talk to them to find out the reason for their aversion.
c) Be confrontational in my dealings with them so that next
time they will think twice about being haughty.

v

ASSERT YOURSELF
a = 1,...
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