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Becoming an Assertive Business Professional

Modifying Your Professional Style

If you’ve identified your style, set your goal, and clarified methods for achieving your goal, you’re on your way to a change that will be professionally rewarding. 

It’s important to realize that even if you exhibit some of the attributes of an assertive business professional now, you can always improve and strengthen them.

The following are three guidelines for modifying your current professional style:

  1. acknowledging the desire to change, 
  2. planning your change, and
  3. implementing your plan.

Acknowledging the desire to change

This probably seems obvious, but it isn’t always followed in everyday practice. It includes owning the desire and being able to articulate the benefits you can gain by becoming an assertive business professional. 

For example, proactive, positive, and constructive are all traits that you might like to acquire by changing and improving your professional style.

Planning your change

This is not a radical idea, but it’s surprising how many people set a goal and immediately charge off to achieve it. In their haste, they fail to lay out a clear plan on how to get where they want to go.

To plan, take the following steps:

  • State the goal — Do this in clear, concise terms that another professional can readily understand. Ensure that the goal is stated in terms that can be observed and measured. For example, increase one-on-one meetings with all staff members to once per month.
  • Identify the action steps — The completion of a step can constitute a milestone reached. Action steps should be observable and measurable. For example, one step could be to complete the assessment plan by month’s end.
  • Set a timetable — Specify a date to complete each step, and put the information on a chart you can use to track your progress toward your goal. If you miss a date, revise your plan and timetable as necessary.
  • Plan your self-assessments — The completion of an action step or milestone is a good time for this activity. This is when you ask yourself how you’re doing in keeping to your timetable and completing your action steps.

Planning your change strategy to become an assertive business professional takes time, but it’s time well spent. Planning can ensure smooth progress toward your chosen goal.

Implementing your plan

Implementing your plan involves taking action steps and then completing a self-assessment. Ask yourself how you’re doing. Have you completed a step? Was it done on time? Is the result satisfactory? Are you ready to move on? 

You don’t want to encounter surprises at every step, so this is a time to be realistic. If your monitoring indicates you are not on target or are missing deadlines, adjust your plan accordingly.

Follow the outlines guidelines to change your professional style to be more assertive.