Assertiveness | How to Be More Assertive at Work & Conversation

Assertive and assertiveness- we will discuss these terms. So many people have the question of what assertiveness is. How to be assertive at work and in conversation helps to be a likable person. We shall discuss these terms in detail in this article. First, we will start with the definition of assertiveness. 

What is The Definition of Assertiveness?Meaning of Assertiveness

Assertiveness is the quality of a person being confident, stating the right point of view, and staying calm and positive. You say this with respecting others. 

Assertiveness is a communication skill that can be learned or used in speaking with others. This skill is a form of behavior of stating confidently without giving proof. Assertive people are honest with themselves and take care of others’ respect.

Importance of Assertiveness

We know that respect is a give-and-take action. We can’t ask others for respect. You respect others, and they will respect you. When you follow assertiveness, you respect the other person in communication, and as a result, you also get respect from your communication partner. In this, you try to resolve a conflict without hurting others confidently.

Important for teens

As this is considered a critical life skill, it is essential to teach it to develop the communication skills of teens. When a teen is assertive, he balances his needs with the needs of others.

Assertiveness for leader 

This skill is also helpful in becoming a leader. Due to assertiveness, you treat others fairly while managing them with the official laws, so your team respects you and helps you to become their leader.

Assertive Behavior 

Considering your own and other people’s desires, wishes, rights, needs, and wants means your behavior is assertive. A person with assertive behavior communicates his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs openly and honestly.

How do you develop assertive behavior?

Assertive behavior is itself a balancing act. You can develop your assertive behavior by keeping some ideas in mind. There are some points of assertive behavior to follow. It will help you develop assertive behavior. They are-

  • Behave equally with others.
  • Maintain self-control.
  • Open in expressing thoughts.
  • Listen carefully to others and respond appropriately.
  • Admit mistakes and apologize for those mistakes.
  • Accept responsibilities.
  • Express appreciation for others for doing good

How to Be More Assertive In a Conversation 

Being more assertive is not always easy, but you can.

To be more assertive, you should project confidence in your statement. You should show your body language effectively and have a good posture. Maintain eye contact with your communication partner. Express your thoughts honestly and encourage others to do the same without being aggressive. 

It would help if you spoke without disrespecting others. 

State what you need from another person briefly and listen to him carefully to get his response. Don’t argue. If you think there will be no solution to the problem, leave it. 

Ideas to Be More Assertive In a Discussion

Here are some ideas of assertive behavior you can follow to be assertive in a group discussion or conversation. Let’s have a look-

  1. Check whether none is missed in the discussion.

You should make sure that all crucial employees are present for the discussion. Give all of them a chance to discuss so that decision will be taken together. We cannot make everyone happy, so you should agree to the decision that stands up for your opinion.

2. Express your opinions without any hesitation

Assertive behavior itself says that you should speak directly without hiding anything. However, while speaking directly, you should be respectful to others, also. For example, you don’t agree with some new idea that you feel won’t work. At that time, don’t disagree rudely- saying, “I don’t agree.” you can say, “I think it will impact negatively on the people who work at that place, and it can harm productivity as well.”

3. Accept your mistakes

As you respect others’ opinions and stand up for your views, it is necessary to be accountable for your mistakes, but not the other’s. Let them be responsible for their own mistakes. For example, If you led a project that couldn’t work correctly, accept your mistake, but don’t point to others for that failed project.

4. Make eye contact with others.

Making eye contact while you give your opinion is assertive behavior. It shows your confidence in what you are stating. It doesn’t mean you should stare at them. Please don’t stare; balance it to maintain only showing your confidence.

5. Be proud of yourself and your team.

An assertive behavior shows pride for not only himself but the people with him in accomplishing the work systematically. 

You will automatically become more assertive and likable if you follow all these.

How to Be More Assertive at Work

AssertivenessAssertiveness makes things easy, and it is necessary to show up at your workplace. Here are some points that can help you be assertive at work. Let’s have a look-

1. Self-worth- value yourself

It helps you understand yourself better and your value to the organization you work for. When you use assertiveness, it enables you to increase your self-worth and ability to influence situations. We call it self-confidence, the basis of assertive behavior. You will come to know that you deserve respectful treatment.

2. Different person, different nature

All have different natures and behavior, so you can’t control others’ behavior. You can only control yourself. You must mold according to the situation rather than expecting others to change. Refrain from making a mistake to behave likely as others. For example, if someone is acting angrily towards you, don’t react angrily, but avoid reacting the same way. Stay calm.

3. Accept positive and negative feedback.

Don’t fly high because of compliments and demoralize by criticism. Criticism and negative feedback can help you understand your mistakes and do well next time, considering those mistakes, so be open to compliments and criticism as well. Use those to achieve significant and positive change to do better.

4. Express your opinions in a positive way

Always avoid negativity in speaking, and try to talk positively. But don’t be afraid to stand up for your opinions. Behave respectfully with others even though you are dealing with a difficult situation. Take it sensitively.

5. Be comfortable with the word “no.”

It would help if you learned to say “no” whenever necessary. Saying “no sounds harsh, but say it without insulting others.

You know your limitations, ability to work, and workload. When you accept work more than your ability and time limit, you are unjust to yourself. Don’t let anyone take disadvantage of you. When you have to say “no, try to find a solution that works for you at that time.

The word because is powerful, and you may use it as a game changer. If you have to reject something someone asks for, you can give strong reasons with determination; no one will be upset with your negative response for what they need from you.

6. Tell your needs confidently.

Only identify your needs once you tell them, so don’t expect to identify your needs from others. For example, if you have to achieve some project goal, and you want help from your colleague, then ask her for help, request her help accomplish the goal without sacrificing her needs.

7. Evaluate yourself

While trying assertiveness every time, you should evaluate yourself. Spend some time for it, and ask questions yourself- “Really, did I handle that problem well?”, “How did I handle it to sort the problems?”, “How could it be handled more efficiently?” Answers to these questions may help you develop your assertiveness skill. 

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Assertive Communication Techniques /Assertiveness Tips and Techniques

There are more assertive communication techniques that we will discuss here. Let’s have a look-

  1. Use of “I” statements in conversation

Use I in conversation to assert your opinions firmly. Being assertive itself is getting your needs respected by others and valuing yourself without disrespecting others. But it is not about judging others and showing that they are less valuable than you. Statement with “I” value you more and help to point others. For example, instead of saying,” Think twice before saying these words to me,” say, “I feel uncomfortable with these words, so please try not to use these words for me.”

2. Change the action words in your conversation.

It would help if you used action words that are emphatic and more definite. It enables you to convey clear messages and avoid confusion. For example, “I choose this technique because I think it will work better to finish the project with quality work.” 

3. Be assertive in a low-risk situation.

Don’t confront your boss, but be small and behave assertively. Also, you can practice this with your loved ones or anyone you trust. Difficult situation automatically normalizes.

4. Control your emotions

Sometimes, you may not get what you want. There are some ups and downs in conversation. Don’t speak out of anger or frustration. It destroys the situation. Stay mindful. 

5. Take time

At some point, it is not good to say anything straight away. In this situation, ask a person some time to think about it.

What Are The 3cs of Assertive Communication?

The 3cs of assertiveness are-

  1. confidence,
  2. control,
  3. clear.

How? Let’s see-

1. Confidence– You can handle the situation and result to good.

2. Control- In any situation, you have control over yourself. You give information in a calm and controlled manner. When we use the term self-control, it means you should watch your tone.

It would be best if you seemed relaxed in conversation. Be patient, and don’t get annoyed because you are irritated. If you are in control, the listener feels respect and likes to be open to hearing your message. Using words like “thank you,” “please,” and a positive tone while speaking are the best strategies to compel others to listen to you.

3. Clear- The message you deliver is clear and easy to understand without confusion. Don’t impress; let others listen and hear of you. Be brief with more meaning. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to be more assertive in a group discussion?

Keep your ideas and thoughts in front of a group, and at the same time, let the others keep their ideas. Use some polite words like please, thank you, allow, and it will compel the group to listen to you. There will be no need to be rude to listen to your point of view. Follow the above ideas to be more assertive in a group discussion. 

How can I be assertive without being rude at work?

Aggression is violent behavior towards others. Don’t be violent with others to avoid aggressiveness, but practice assertiveness.

Aggressive people don’t take the feelings of other people into mind. For example, a person with aggressive behavior rarely praises others for their excellent work, whereas a person with assertive doesn’t sacrifice other people’s rights for her own.


Hi, I am Madhuri Kherde, an educationist, ex-principal of a secondary school in Mumbai, and founder of I have been teaching English and Mathematics for the last thirty-four years. I like to share my knowledge and experience with others. So I hope you enjoy my posts on this website.