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Speak up with confidence: Strategies for women in the workplace

Updated: Apr 26

African American woman talking to a coworker in an office

Have you ever felt hesitant to speak up at work, worried about being perceived as too aggressive or not assertive enough? Many of us face this challenge, but there are strategies you can use to express yourself confidently and effectively. As Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." This quote highlights the importance of communication in creating positive relationships at work. Let's explore some tips to help you assertively communicate in the workplace.


1. Pick the Right Time and Place: Timing is everything. Choose a moment when you and the other person can have a focused conversation without distractions. Consider their schedule and emotional state to ensure a productive dialogue.

 "Empowering your voice is not about raising it to be heard above others; it's about speaking with such clarity and conviction that others are compelled to listen."

2. Be Direct and Clear: Avoid beating around the bush. Clearly state your thoughts and intentions without ambiguity. This approach shows confidence and helps prevent misunderstandings.


3. Stick to the Facts: When presenting an argument or expressing a concern, use concrete examples and evidence to support your points. This approach adds credibility to your communication and makes it more persuasive.


4. Listen Actively: Communication is a two-way street. Practice active listening by paying attention to the speaker's words, tone, and body language. Ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand their perspective.


5. Ask for Feedback: Seeking feedback from colleagues or supervisors can help you improve your communication skills. It also shows that you value their input and are open to growth and development.


6. Use "I" Statements: When expressing your feelings or opinions, use "I" statements to take ownership of your thoughts. For example, say "I feel..." instead of "You make me feel..." This approach promotes personal responsibility and avoids blame.

7. Stay Calm: In challenging situations, remain calm and composed. Take a deep breath and focus on finding a solution rather than getting caught up in emotions. This approach demonstrates maturity and professionalism.


8. Approach Every Interaction with Grace: Treat others with respect and kindness, even in difficult conversations. Remember that assertive communication is about finding a balance between being firm and being empathetic.


While these tips can help you improve your assertive communication skills, everyone is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Working with a coach can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs and temperament. A coach can help you identify your communication style, understand your strengths and areas for improvement, and develop strategies to assert yourself confidently in any situation.


Assertive communication is a valuable skill that can help you navigate the complexities of the workplace with confidence and clarity. By practicing these strategies and seeking support when needed, you can empower yourself to speak up, be heard, and make a positive impact in your professional life.


Author Bio: Cherie Harris is a seasoned life coach with a proven track record of helping women unlock their full potential and achieve their goals. With a deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of intentional living, Cherie empowers her clients to make deliberate choices that lead to lasting success and fulfillment. Connect with her on LinkedIn for valuable insights and join a community dedicated to living with purpose and passion. To book a complimentary session with Coach Cherie click here.


© 2024 The Intentional Woman by Cherie Harris. All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from Cherie Harris, Intentionality Coach.

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