Mastering appropriate assertiveness is a must for getting your ideas noticed and earning the respect of clients, superiors, and co-workers. However, figuring out exactly how assertive to be can be tricky. Get too confrontational, and women look pushy. Fall back on traditional female communication styles, and we look like doormats.
For a little guidance on striking the right balance, WORKS checked in with Judith S. McClure, PhD, author of Civilized Assertiveness® for Women: Communication with Backbone…not Bite. “If women want to be taken seriously and exert influence,” Dr. McClure advises, “there are several phrases that they need to delete from their vocabularies FOREVER. These are ‘red flag words’ that always mark a person as non-assertive and easy to dismiss.”