Managers need to command a level of respect in order to be effective leaders. Businesses cannot thrive without good leaders. Often when staff are subject to a timid manager, productively is negatively impacted. If this is the case with your employees, you may benefit from learning assertiveness techniques. These techniques will allow you to gain control over your office and may help you learn how to become a CEO, if that is your goal. In doing so, you will be able to remove any problems that are hindering your productivity. Here are a few assertiveness techniques for business managers.
Hold Everyone Accountable
It is important that you hold every employee accountable for all of their actions. Accountability is key in managing employee engagement in business. If one mistake is ignored, dozens more will follow. Employees need to understand that decisions they make during work hours are equally as important as those they make in their personal lives. They also need to understand that they have an obligation to their company as they are being paid for services rendered. Employees should always be aware of what is expected of them, so that they may hold themselves to that standard. Once you create a culture of accountability, employees will feel less inclined to push boundaries. This is one of the most important assertiveness techniques.
Fogging is a useful communication technique. It involves responding back to aggressiveness with calm and composure. Typically, an employee is looking to invoke an argumentative response when they take an aggressive tone. By fogging, you are refusing to play into their game. You maintain control over the situation. To use this technique effectively, you have to agree with the truths in their statements without being defensive. For instance, if an employee were to say, “Why are you late all the time?”, you would respond with, “Yes, I am late. I can see that this upsets you.” As a manager, you should not feel the need to argue with your employees. Simply hear them out and have a level-headed conversation. This will assert your position as a leader and deter them from taking an aggressive tone with you.
Anticipate Behavior And Prepare
If you have been a manager for some time, you are most likely familiar with how some of your employees behave. If this is the case, then you should be able to anticipate how they respond to certain situations. For example, if you ask a particularly fiery employee to work on Saturday, you should expect them to respond negatively. Preparing for this response in advance will help you avoid looking like you have been caught off guard. It will also allow you to organize an adequate response for that employee. Use this assertiveness technique to predict your employees behavior and plan business decisions accordingly.
Practice Calm Persistence
One of the most fundamental assertiveness skills is called calm persistence, sometimes referred to as the stuck record technique. If you are in a situation where you need to be assertive, say what you want. Then say it again. Keep saying it until you get what you want. Make sure to stay calm. Do not raise the tone of your voice or become angry or irritated. Make sure you do not get sidetracked, either. Continue to make your request in a calm, clear manner. Calm persistence is one of the most important assertiveness skills to have in your arsenal.
Set Clear Expectations
Managers who fail to set clear goals and expectations are inviting trouble. This gives employees ammunition to blame you if they fail to meet expectations. It also makes it easy for them to test your boundaries. If you are not clear on what can and cannot be done, your workers will behave however they please. Your employees are not mind readers. They need direction. Most often, discontent stems from confusion rather than maliciousness. Give clear instructions and set goals instead of having an attitude of gratitude for any minor task an employee finishes. These are critical elements to being an assertive manager.
Assertiveness is a necessary aspect of strong leadership. Business cannot be conducted effectively if employees behave however they please. If something needs to be done, you need to be able to communicate that without inciting an argumentative response. This can be accomplished by setting clear expectations and holding everyone accountable for their actions. By practicing the assertiveness techniques in this post, you will be better able to manage any personality type that comes your way.
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