How To Be Assertive Without Being Pushy

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It can be awkward, intimidating or uncomfortable to confront a colleague who has maligned us, but it's necessary to preserve our self-respect and peace at work. It rights a wrong, and restores a healthy culture, Andy Molinsky writes in the Harvard Business Review.

First, have a private conversation with the person and begin with a straightforward and objective statement such as: "When you interrupt me in meetings..."

Then, establish a cause-and-effect logic by telling the person the negative impact their actions and behaviors have on you: "...it prevents me from sharing my thoughts and ideas."

Lastly, and this is contrary to what most of us are told about talking about feelings at work, Molinsky advocates for ending with a statement of feelings because feelings are hard to refute. Something such as "I feel marginalized" or "I feel belittled" are very effective he says.

The person may get defensive or dismissive or angry, so be prepared for that possibility. No matter what, stay calm and confident.