Sunday, 01 June 2003 14:42

Assert Yourself at Work

Article as it appeared in Woman's Value magazine. By Lee Curry

Confident people find the working situation easier, and experience greater success. If you want to enjoy the benefits of being confident at work, then this is a useful article to read.

Practical, do-able advice which anyone can apply to their own life – with positive, tangible results.

Be confident in some key aspects of your life. Lee Currie asked a few experts their advice.

Expert: Claire Newton, psychologist, university lecturer, corporate counsellor and trainer

  • Enrol in a good quality assertiveness-skills training course. Not only will you learn how to say no without feeling guilty or offending anyone, you’ll learn how to ask for what you need. Assertiveness opens channels for communication and people will respond positively toward you, making you feel more empowered and confident.
  • A communication-skills and public-speaking course will teach you how to speak well in public and in private. Knowing that you can express yourself well and handle any situation is a great confidence booster. For details about courses, contact organisations such as Chamber of Commerce and business and secretarial colleges.
  • Knowledge is power. Get an overall view of the organistation that you work in (its history, products, management, policies). Knowing what’s what and who’s who will definitely help you to feel more confident, and will also impress your boss.
  • Be positive. Train yourself to see a cup as half full rather than half empty. Know that you’ll make mistakes in your job, but don’t allow them to undermine your confidence. View a mistake as an opportunity from which you can learn something positive, then put it behind you.
  • Keep up to date with trends that relate to your work. Use your initiative and learn new systems before being asked to. Use the internet to gain more information relevant to yor work or organisation. Ask your boss to enrol you on a course relevant to your job. By increasing your skills and knowledge your performance will improve and you won’t feel threatened by new trends, nor will you risk being replaced by a new employee, fresh out of training.
  • Spend time and effort on your appearance. Even if you don’t feel like it on the inside, you can still project a confident, professional image on the outside.”