Why being assertive can benefit your business

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Assertiveness does not equate to being aggressive in business. Too little or too much assertiveness can more often than not lead business leaders down the wrong path – either passivity or aggression. The challenge many leaders face is finding the balance where we can make ourselves heard and our objectives met, especially when the outcome is not fully aligned with others.

At London Corporate Training, we work with a plethora of global organisations across multiple sectors, and developing assertiveness is so often highlighted across the board, be it developing negotiation and persuasion skills, the ability to influence colleagues and stakeholders or developing confidence when confronting challenging individuals and situations.

What is assertiveness leadership?

Simply put, being an assertive leader is modeled around a communication style in which a person is able to confidently express their opinions, views and perspectives about a business matter in a self-assured and non-faltering manner. Assertive leaders are confident, well-informed and stand firm in their conviction.

Being assertive does not give leaders permission to take advantage of the other side, or discredit other viewpoints or show any signs of intimidation. They act with dignity, respect and emphaticalness and set strong boundaries, yet are open to communication and cogitation with all parties involved.

Assertive leadership does not equate to being self-promoting and self-serving. It lends itself more towards respecting yourself, your viewpoints as well as others opinions. Leaders need to know how to stand their ground, however not to be consistently inflexible.

What are 5 benefits of assertive leadership?

Being an assertive leader is an excellent quality that compels people to achieve, develop and excel. Leaders can be assertive without crossing the line to obnoxious and pushy. There are numerous benefits to being an assertive leader. We’ve handpicked 5 below:

  1. Build relationships
    Creating authentic long last relationships are important for leaders, as buy-in and being on the same page will help productivity in order for a business to thrive within a heavily saturated market. Assertive leaders encourage teamwork, not competition.By standing up for your team and organisation, and allowing each member to voice their opinions and needs in an environment that appreciates such exchanges, will give you the opportunity to wholly earn the trust and respect from those you lead.
  2. Conflict resolution
    Leaders who are comfortable to voice their opinions and problem solve, not belittle others are more likely to come to an uncomplicated resolution in a timely manner. These leaders know what they want and believe in their solution whole-heartedly. There is no messing others about, rather you’re able to listen and respect others, whilst standing firm and unwavering.
  3. Honest feedback
    There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to assertiveness. These leaders are able to tactfully deliver feedback in a constructive way in order for people to succeed, rather than just offering nonconstructive criticism. They’re able to feedback in a manner than offers development, understanding and encouragement.
  4. Walk the talk
    Assertive leaders walk the talk and do not preach to others what they will not do themselves. They act in accordance how they desire others to act. Assertive leaders strongly believe in themselves and express the same to others.
  5. Good judgement
    Assertive leaders are perceived to have good judgement and are always well-informed. They are very good at collecting all the facts, are detail orientated in their analysis and evaluation. They are confident in decision making and encourage all parties to comment. They actively listen to others and respect others’ rights and point of view, not just their own.

5 ways how to be an assertive leader

Assertive leadership can help create productive and efficient working environments, increase job satisfaction and resolve conflicts without disparaging others. Our courses on developing assertive teaches many ways how to be an assertive leader. Below are 5 ways:

  1. Ensure honest and transparent communication
    Assertiveness does not encourage sugar coating, false flattery or vague communication which may be misconstrued. Leaders should have an open-door policy and open communication channels encouraging others to speak up when they need to, without judgement or any repercussions. Transparency will foster psychological safety and help team members feel comfortable sharing when it’s necessary.
  2. Give clear, concise direction
    The choice of words and the way in which you deliver them makes a big impact on the way others view you as a leader. Being clear will eliminate any misconceptions and misunderstandings in the team, which allows better relationship building and collaborations. Try not using vague language, or words which may be interpreted incorrectly, such as maybe or probably.
  3. Set boundaries
    Leaders need to have set boundaries for what’s acceptable and what they will not tolerate in business. Of course there can be room for negotiation and leeway, but these leaders know when there is no more room for movement. Boundaries can also help minimise conflict, as others know what to expect from you, and visa versa.
  4. Don’t shout or belittle others
    Assertive leaders do not raise their voice or belittle others, especially when they have varying opinions. Shouting brings on hostility and it’s easy to become defensive and less likely to listen, which may lead to aggression. If someone is shouting or raising their voice at you, try taking a step back and breathing until you’re composed before you can assertively respond.
  5. Remain calm
    Remaining calm in all situations shows the strength and resilience of assertive leaders. Be mindful of your body language and tone of voice, even when feeling frustrated or fed up with a situation.

At LCT, we offer a range of courses that can help develop assertiveness and assertive communication for leaders within a business. Click here for more information about the Developing Assertiveness Course which can be done online or in-house. If you’re unsure about the best training course for your business or team, please do reach out to our team and we can help find the perfect course to suit your requirements.

If you would like to see all our courses, check them out here.

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