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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.

  3. Maintain good relationships. Having a good relationship with your employees will reduce resistance, especially during organizational change. Make it a habit to praise your employees in public. Be authentic in doing it. It may not increase your assertiveness, but it will build trust in employees to become more assertive. It also brings confidence to the employees. Assertive leaders have the reputation of being more honest and having more integrity.

  4. Encourage Dreams. Never be that dream killer in the organization. As a leader, it is essential to be the dream releaser. Stay away from criticizing, even if the dream might be far-fetched. Assertive leaders are calm and encourage others to be better. Encourage people to achieve more. A mentorship program will add value to their desire for personal development. Having interns or new employees shadow experienced employees who have completed a higher level of competency is also a good option.

  5. Create a culture of Innovation. A culture of Innovation will encourage the employees to be resourceful. Motivating employees to make alternative suggestions about the direction or processes respectfully is a great way to establish a relationship and encourage employees to think outside the box. This proactive leadership flows over to employees and drives them to share ideas without fear of rejection confidently. As a result, the best ideas should rise to the top and create a safe environment for exchanging ideas. Steve Jobs did not have a committee at Apple Inc. They all met for three hours every day to discuss their daily tasks. Their strength was teamwork and trust. Steve Jobs met with all teams, and the best ideas always won. Creating an environment where people can bring their ideas together will build trust and instill assertiveness.

Learn more about Harriet Tinka:

Article written by Denise Young, WIL National Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and is a consultant and educator for Tiger’s Eye Advisory Group.


1 commentaire

Navigating assertiveness without harm is akin to the delicate balance we strike at The Law Office of Paul Mankin. In personal injury, consumer protection, and product liability cases, we apply a similar finesse, asserting our clients' rights without compromising their well-being. Our commitment to a personalized approach ensures assertive advocacy tailored to each case, working collaboratively to achieve favorable outcomes while safeguarding clients from fraudulent practices. Like the five ways to assert without damage, our legal strategies seek justice without compromise, offering clients the assurance of effective representation with care and precision.

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