How to build confidence in your abilities and increase your capacity to be assertive.
This page is intended for those with lowered self-confidence and possibly, lowered assertiveness. The tips provided below are intended to be a starting point rather than a comprehensive guide to building self-confidence in the workplace.
- Take action. Sometimes you will find it difficult to make the right decision. If you find it hard to choose between two alternatives you think are equally attractive, do not hesitate for too long. Pick one and make sure to see your decision through and make it work. It is better to make a decision and take action to ensure a successful outcome rather than simply procrastinate away your chance at success.
- Have a role model to emulate. When starting a new task, think of someone you know or imagine someone who, in your opinion, would do it in the best way possible. Think how he or she would go about the same task. Compare yourself with that person and see what you might be lacking. Work on filling the gaps.
- Prefer lower risk actions. If you have difficulty recovering from a failure: Your assessment of any given situation is constrained by your subjective opinion and experience, i.e., it is biased by what you know and does not factor in what you don’t know. So, even when a situation seems favorable to you, think critically and seek more evidence that the situation is indeed favorable for you and the risk of failure is low.
- Take advantage of favorable situations. if you did your due diligence and the opportunity is indeed favorable with low risk of failure, do not hesitate and make the most of it.
- Assess the evidence before making conclusions. When a situation appears to be unfavorable, you may have the tendency to panic right away and/or to jump to conclusions and see yourself as a failure. For your type, the best strategy is to take a closer look to assess the evidence once again. If the situation is unfavorable, consider all possible ways out of it. Do not twiddle your thumbs: resolute action alone can often work wonders.
- Learn to express and rationalize your needs and proposals. If you have difficulty being assertive, be mindful of that. Take the effort to make the other party aware of your needs. Clearly express your needs and the rationale behind them. When communicating with those who do not share your views and interests, possibly someone in a position of authority, listen to them without interrupting with either objection or agreement. Then, present your thoughts on the subject. Be precise. Highlight the points of agreement and mutual benefit. Offer your suggestions of possible a win-win alternative or a compromise on conflicting points. Ask the other party to propose mutually beneficial ways of resolving disagreement and conflicting priorities.
- Identify gaps and work on improving your abilities. Do you think you are not good enough for the job? Do an honest assessment of your skills and abilities to identify areas for improvement. If you find skill gaps and areas of improvement, come up with and execute an action plan (such as learning the desired skill) and engage in activities that will perfect your abilities.