Help with workplace assertiveness
July 26, 2007 9:16 PM Subscribe
How do I become more assertive at work?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
You wouldn't think I'd be such a wuss. I'm a lawyer, a litigator actually, with a big firm. And when it comes to actual verbal conflict--whether with opposing counsel or with some other adversary--I do well and people would probably say I'm aggressive or tough. But, when it comes to people that I actually work with every day--co-workers, assistants, subordinates, etc.--I am a pushover. I get walked all over, actually. When someone does a bad job, I say "it's pretty good," and then I fix it myself. When my assistant makes multiple terrible mistakes on important things, I give her a good review and can't bring myself to get a new assistant (which I really need). My problem, as best I can discern, is that I have no "middle gear" when it comes to dealing with people. I'm either Mr. Pushover, or I am in battle-mode and having a serious confrontation. I don't want to go into battle-mode with co-workers, assistants, etc. And I can't find a good, natural way to just assert myself without (my fear) having a total scene where I come on way too strong. How can I tell people that something's not OK in some friendly-constructive-critical way without causing a huge rupture?
I'd appreciate any advice.