Mastering assertiveness as a soft skill

Have you ever thought that navigating through the people and expectations in your career is like playing a game? If so, you are not alone. Many professionals encounter circumstances where they wish they could voice their opinions, establish limits, and zealously defend their position. This is where assertiveness, your secret weapon for a successful career, comes in. 

Being assertive is an essential skill in today’s competitive and dynamic workplace. It is the key to opening windows of opportunity, establishing trusting business relationships, and amplifying your voice in a crowded place. The topic of this blog post discusses assertiveness and how mastering it can enhance your career.

Differences between assertiveness and aggressiveness

But there is sometimes confusion about what assertiveness is and isn’t. Assertiveness is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. Being assertive means being able to stand up for your own or other people’s rights calmly and positively without either being aggressive or passively accepting ‘wrong’. 



  • Self-awareness
  • Understand different perspectives
  • Set boundaries
  • Practise communication
  • Model others who are assertive
  • Address limiting beliefs
  • Respect yourself and others
  • Reward yourself   

8 Steps That Will Help You Master Assertiveness


The foundation for developing assertiveness skills in your professional life is self-awareness. Regard it as your inner superpower, providing focus, emotional control, sincerity, empathy, and ongoing development. By building your self-awareness, you can understand your motivations, successfully control your emotions, be genuine, empathise with others, and constantly hone your assertiveness strategy. Self-awareness enables you to speak your mind with assurance, enabling fruitful interactions at work and helping you to establish trust. So embrace self-awareness, as it will help you be assertive to the fullest!


Understand different perspectives:

To understand other perspectives, one must actively listen, respect, and empathise with other people. Professionals are better able to communicate by using this to calmly resolve issues and objections. Additionally, it promotes cooperation by letting people use different points of view to accomplish shared objectives. Accepting different points of view also promotes adaptation, ongoing learning, and personal development. Effective assertiveness ultimately relies on understanding many points of view, which enables professionals to negotiate workplace dynamics with empathy, respect, and flexibility while fostering strong connections and progressing in their careers.


Set boundaries:

We all need to identify, set, and effectively communicate our boundaries. By bringing clarity, this practice enables professionals to concentrate on their work, decline requests assertively when necessary, and acquire respect for their time. Additionally, it promotes a healthy work-life balance and lowers stress levels, ensuring that assertive interaction is not impeded by worry or overwhelm. Additional advantages include better connections and self-advocacy since coworkers value the honesty and dependability that come with clearly set boundaries. Setting boundaries essentially acts as a guide for assertiveness, offering the framework and self-assurance required for effective communication and career growth.


Practise communication:

Developing communication skills such as voice quality, eye contact, and body language is very helpful in developing assertiveness. During talks, commanding attention and respect requires a strong, clear voice along with consistent confidence. Maintaining eye contact communicates interest and self-assurance, increasing the likelihood that others will respect your thoughts. Effective body language that conveys confidence, such as open movements and an upright posture, supports assertive communication. Together, these abilities enable professionals to communicate their needs, desires, and boundaries clearly while resolving disagreements and fostering positive relationships. By putting them into practice, you can improve your assertiveness toolbox, which will lead to more fruitful interactions and professional advancement. Find out how to improve communication in our blog post.


Model others who are assertive:

Observing and learning from assertive people can considerably improve one’s ability to be assertive. I liken it to attending a masterclass in assertiveness. You can obtain a personal understanding of what assertiveness entails in practice when you see individuals who are consistently assertive in their speech and conduct. In difficult circumstances, especially, pay attention to how people behave, how they communicate, and the words they use. It’s like having a road map for handling challenging talks, being honest about your needs, and setting limits while still respecting other people. You can progressively increase your confidence and assertiveness in your professional encounters by imitating their behaviour and incorporating their approaches into your own. It all comes down to observing individuals who are excellent at this skill and tailoring it to your particular situation and style.


Address limiting beliefs:

Limiting beliefs frequently whispers doubts and insecurities in our ears, telling us we can’t effectively speak up for ourselves or establish ourselves. But when we face these mental obstacles, it’s like a door that opens to self-assurance and development. We restore our self-esteem and accept the notion that assertiveness is a skill we can learn by confronting these ideas. It’s about adopting a new perspective that sees assertiveness as a useful tool for productive communication and letting go of the fear of disagreement or judgement. You can replace self-doubt with self-confidence and make assertiveness a natural part of your professional journey with practice and assistance.


Respect yourself and others:

The foundation is self-respect, which builds your self-esteem and aids in establishing healthy limits. Empathy and efficient communication go hand in hand with respect for others, making it simpler to resolve disputes and establish trust. It allows you to convey your opinions firmly while still keeping respect for others, which is a sign of professionalism in your career. Overall, valuing yourself and others is the compass that directs you towards developing compassionate and self-assured communication skills, creating healthy connections along the way, and moving towards personal progress.


Reward yourself:

Consider it a small commendation for a job well done. It’s a win when you assert yourself properly, and celebrating those triumphs gives you more confidence and drive to carry on. These incentives don’t have to be expensive; even modest indulgences or peaceful moments count. They serve as constructive criticism, encouraging you to practice and improve your assertiveness techniques. The rewards grow even more significant over time as you experience the advantages in your job and personal life. Therefore, as you progress towards becoming a more assertive and confident professional, don’t forget to reward yourself along the way!


I said I would stick to 8 steps, but here is one more that is as important as the other steps above. Give yourself an even better chance of mastering your assertiveness skills when you enrol in our Assertiveness Skills online course, and if you also want to provide similar essential soft skill training for your team, our Assertiveness Skills Workshop is also available. 


Did you find this post informative? Don’t miss out on future posts; click here to get notified when we post in the future.