Have you ever considered the career of an Administrative Assistant? If you think the job is all about following orders from a boss up above, you’re only partly right. The best admin assistants are intelligent self-starters who anticipate the needs of their bosses. They also know how to stand up for the people they serve and themselves. Some people don’t understand that assertive and aggressive aren’t the same thing. Some people even still believe that passive behavior is feminine. Boy, are they wrong! Women (and men) need to know how to speak their minds in the workplace to get things done, while still being professional. Here are some tips on how to improve your assertiveness skills as an administrative assistant.
1. Value Your Own Opinions
You are entitled to your opinion. When you communicate with others in the office, make sure you take the time to be clear when you express your ideas. You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but your ideas have value. Present them well and you’ll be respected for your knowledge.
2. Use the Right Body Language
Body language can tell people a lot about you when you enter a room. If you feel self-conscious or insecure when you head into a meeting, they might be able to tell if your body language is off. Make sure that whether you propose a new idea or take a stand that your posture is tall, confident, and assertive.
3. Be Active, Not Reactive
Assertive people take action, but they also stop and think before they do so. Instead of taking a kneejerk reaction to something you don’t like, stop and think. For example, you might want to fire off an email in response to something you feel is wrong. Go ahead and write it, but don’t hit send! Revisit the email a few hours later and make sure you state your case without being overly reactive.
4. Create and Meet Deadlines
Take deadlines into your own hands. Even if you don’t have a deadline from your boss or whoever you report to, create self-made deadlines so you can focus on tasks each day that will get you to your end goal, without the stress. If people don’t give you a deadline, learn to ask for one. It will make you appear more able and reliable. It will also allow both you and your boss or colleague to prioritize other tasks. Take on as much as you can, but learn to speak up when you’re on work overload.
5. Don’t Tolerate Inappropriate Behavior
If something happens at work that you don’t feel comfortable with, speak up as soon as it occurs. Address it to the individual but don’t be afraid to go over their head. Report inappropriate behaviors to your supervisor or your company’s Human Resource department. You should never feel unsafe in your workplace. Don’t be afraid to speak up!
6. Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Whatever task you have or issues that arise, you should always go straight to the source for information and clarification. Make sure to understand your company’s policies and procedures, follow them closely, and pay attention when others don’t. As an administrative assistant, you will often be the go-to resource for others in the company so your knowledge base needs to be spot-on. And the more you know, the more confident you will be in your work.
Whether you are currently an Administrative Assistant or hope to become one, make sure to be assertive enough to highlight your strengths to your bosses and colleagues. You can train to become an Administrative Assistant at Career Quest Learning Centers in as little as eight months.
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