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Five Ways to be Assertive without Damage



Harriet Tinka, BBA,CPA,CMA,CCP,DTM

EmpoweredME Inc, Founder/CEO.

Harriet is a transformational speaker, a life coach, a blogger, a youth supporter, a passion fueled entrepreneur and an all-round life enthusiast. Her passion and deepest desire in life is to help empower people of all ages to let go of their limitations and fears to step up and be the best version of themselves.



"I AM Enough. Say it. Feel it. Be it"


Interview by Denise Young, WIL National Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and CEO and Consultant of Tiger’s Eye Advisory Group


Can you be assertive without offending others in the workplace? Self-assertion is essential in the workplace. It allows you to take control and become proactive. Assertiveness is the ability to stand up for one's rights without offending others. It tells others about what you have in mind and, at the same time, respects the rights of others. If you are assertive, others will be less likely to attempt to take advantage of you. Otherwise, it will impact your self-esteem.


Harriet Tinka “believes everyone deserves to feel happy, confident & empowered”. She struggled with her self-worth and confidence in her teen years. As she faced her adversities, she was one day inspired by a little girl in a wheelchair who said to her, “Move forward and use your pain to inspire others.” Harriet decided it was time to pay it forward. Ever since, she has inspired and touched lives of over 500 teens! She is known as a “Powerhouse Role Model who makes being genuine the most powerful thing of all”.


In her recent best-selling book, "Self Esteem Passport," Harriet emphasizes how critical it is to build up one's self-esteem as we become "leaders with influence" in a diverse workplace. She shared with me five ways we can communicate assertively without damage. Here are some tips for women leaders who want to exert trust and assertiveness in the workplace:


  1. The Power of Intention. Leaders must focus on others first rather than themselves. Begin the day by being intentional. The first minute you see someone, search for ways to encourage and make them feel good. This encouragement will make people around you motivated. We all need some motivation.

  2. Offer to compromise. As a leader, you might have overwhelming deadlines. If an employee cannot meet some deadlines, they may not be assertive enough to say they are overloaded. They may want to skate through a project and reduce the quality of the finished product to meet the deadline. Perhaps work through lunch, and this may violate the legal and ethical boundaries of a work environment. Create a culture where everyone knows their rights and limitations. Have meetings where you can discuss timelines and how you can work as a team to be effective. Piling on more work without asking how your employees are doing will create a stressful environment.