Being More Assertive


Your Challenge: Is it hard for you to ask for what you want or to be heard? Do other people upstage you? Are you overlooked, taken for granted, or treated as a “good soldier” but not seen as high-potential?


Proven Strategy: Stand up and be counted by behaving in ways that command notice and respect. Adopt the behaviors we describe and see the difference in how you’re treated and the results you get.

Here’s a sample of just one of the strategies you get:

Speak out in meetings held by senior management.
The faster you can find your voice in venues your manager convenes—such as regular staff meetings—or meetings more senior people attend, the sooner you can demonstrate your leadership maturity. Take the initiative to prepare in advance as much as possible by considering what you can say thoughtfully that would add value to the topic under discussion. Marshal evidence for your view in terms of facts and figures, including their sources. Besides adding your contribution, speak out respectfully if you determine that the level of discussion has gotten “too low” into the details to bring conversation up “out of the weeds” and return it to a more strategic level. Example: “Your ideas are interesting, Bert, but I have confidence you and your people can figure out what to do. While we’re all here around the table, I’d like to be sure we as a group are considering how this new legislation is going to affect the business.”

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