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Soft Skills You Need: Assertiveness for Business Success

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Communication in the workplace is not necessarily about what we say. Sometimes, the important aspect is how we say it – our manner. In an age where we spend more time on the internet than talking face to face, we are losing some of our non-verbal communication. Assertiveness is one of those dying soft skills. We all think we know, but we often misunderstand what assertiveness means. It’s become such a problem that our workloads are unbalanced. Miscommunication occurs and friction increases. Supporting your employees to develop their soft skills like assertiveness is essential for your business success – Bookboon shows you how.

We have already discussed interpersonal communication as a soft skill. This teaches empathy, understanding and good listening skills. These are essentially the elements of communication concerned with how we react. The soft skill assertiveness is about how we act towards others. It is about our tone, body language, body stance and presentation. Our manner is one contributing factor to our professional presentation.


What is assertiveness?

We define assertiveness as the ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings effectively and appropriately, being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. It means standing up for yourself without resorting to attack. If we imagine a scale with aggressiveness at one end and timidity at the other, assertiveness is the centre ground.

  • Assertive people can stand their ground against aggressive people and do not fear saying “no” or otherwise challenge them
  • Assertive people show aggressive people up as the bullies that they are. Arguably, they are capable of demonstrating to the aggressive person that they are acting unreasonably
  • Assertive people demonstrate understanding towards others and emphasise that they have rights as well as responsibilities
  • Assertive people encourage timid, passive people to open up and explain what they mean clearly
  • Assertiveness aids good decision making

Essentially, aggressive people understand that they have rights and that others have responsibilities. Timid people understand that they have responsibilities and that others have rights. This is why it is important to find that middle ground. Assertive people are aware that everyone has both rights and responsibilities, and are willing to say so.


Importance of assertiveness in the workplace

It is clear that assertiveness is the vital centre ground in the workplace. In any work environment, aggressive people inspire fear and come across as bullies. They create and maintain friction that should not exist at any level. However, the bully may not always realise that he or she comes across that way. Encouraging them to tone down a little will help aggressive people communicate effectively while respecting the needs of others.

Passive people often do not explain their needs effectively. They sometimes fail to communicate at all, leading to miscommunication and misunderstanding; teamwork suffers and conflict rises. Timid people also leave themselves open to abuse when bullies and others take advantage.

Assertive people present an air of confidence and feel it too. They stand up to aggressive people and encourage the passive. They are not afraid of saying “no” to tasks when they are too busy. Nor are they afraid of passing work onto somebody else or asking others to help that person and they inspire confidence. This confidence is vital for job satisfaction and the success of the business itself.


Bookboon’s Solution for businesses to a lack of assertiveness

There is a simple solution from Bookboon for a lack of your employee’s soft skill. For true and long-term success, you need Bookboon’s comprehensive eLibrary Solution. It offers you a wide range of thousands of eBooks to help develop the core soft skills that you need for business success.

The soft skill assertiveness is considered vital for long-term business success. Ebooks are more efficient, cost-effective and flexible compared to classical classroom learning. Plus, our eBooks are available on demand! Studies have shown that information retention is much higher when you use eLearning. It helps employees to study whenever they have time, on their device of choice and at their own pace.

Test Bookboon’s eLibrary with this free demo now!