Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Asserting Yourself in the Workplace

Posted on: March 3, 2011

Use these simple tips to assert yourself and claim your space in the office, making the difference between being perceived as powerful, or merely part of the pack.

  • Consider your stance. Place your hands facing each other and steeple your fingers. This forces your palms apart and, whether you are sitting or standing, you arms will take up more space. This is a highly effective negotiating posture; watch how CEOs, politicians and solicitors use it.
  • Delay your introduction. When you first meet a person, engage them in conversation for a few seconds before giving your name. By then he or she will have a reason to remember it.
  • Be aware of your body language. If you nod to show empathy, it can be misinterpreted as agreement. If you disagree with something, say so verbally. This will avoid misunderstanding. When talking, keep your head upright, even balanced on your neck. Relax your shoulders, keeping your upper chest softly opened like a book. This position will give you a look of authority and influence.
  • Practise speaking with a lower, more even delivery. A lower voice has more credibility, which is why most commercial voiceovers are done by men. If your voice rises at the end of sentences, force the intonations down.
  • Don’t allow others to interrupt you. If co-workers try to interrupt you, increase the volume of your voice and keep speaking. If they continue to speak over you, put up one finger to indicate that you have not yet finished. If that doesn’t produce the desired result, hold up your hand as if to say, “Stop!” Or say, “Excuse me, I hadn’t finished.” Assertiveness shows that you are confident and aware of your rights. The more you practise, the easier it will get. You’ll feel good about yourself too.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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