A Positive Approach
Methods for Taking a Positive Approach
By definition, a self-development strategy requires you to take the lead. You can achieve the best results when you take a positive approach, which helps ensure that you’ll succeed in becoming more assertive. You can use the following three methods for taking a positive approach:
- developing a positive attitude,
- acknowledging personal strengths, and
- celebrating success.
Developing a positive attitude
Your attitude is the key to building and strengthening the assertive style you want to claim as your own. Look for opportunities to build your self-confidence.
Do this by seeking challenging assignments and those in which you know there’s a good chance to be successful. Also, focus on acknowledging your self-worth by recognizing the value that you contribute to the company and your co-workers.
Acknowledging personal strengths
Your positive attitude will enhance your ability to recognize and acknowledge your personal strengths. You can take the following actions to acknowledge your strengths:
- Identification — Develop a list of your strengths. For example, you might consider your positive attitude a personal strength and so may your co-workers if you have a positive disposition.
- Affirmation — There are many ways to recognize your strengths. For example, you may post notes in conspicuous places, with each note being a reminder of some strength. It is important to constantly tell yourself that you can use your strengths to foster your own success.
- Accountability — Your colleagues will appreciate the fact that you are responsible and accomplish what you say you will.
Go ahead and celebrate when you are successful in some endeavor and don’t forget to celebrate when you are part of a successful group. It may be only bringing in a cake or going to lunch, but celebrations are important.
A positive approach will do wonders for you as you implement your self-development strategies to become a more assertive business professional.
Elements of Developing Personal Accountability
Personal accountability is illustrated by your willingness to be held responsible and to answer to others for your actions and behavior in the workplace. It is key to the assertive style you’re developing. Three elements of developing personal accountability are
1. Acknowledging positive feedback — Make it a point to acknowledge positive feedback. Do this by letting the other person know you hear what she’s saying, and by telling her that you appreciate her thoughtful remarks. You should give feedback too.
Let her know how her contribution made you successful or tell her about her actions and behaviors that have a positive effect on others. Use the feedback you get from others to enhance your self-confidence and contribute in a positive way to the development of your assertive style.
2. Accepting constructive criticism — Accept constructive criticism in a positive manner by being attentive and receptive. Remember that, by definition, the criticism is being given to you by someone who wants you to grow and be successful.
In addition, it’s important that you listen to and hear the criticism so you can learn from it. Accepting constructive criticism should help you learn and grow professionally.
3. Dealing with unwarranted criticism — Be assertive. Do not let undeserved criticism go unanswered. Confront the criticism by saying that you know it isn’t warranted based on anything you’ve done or said. Also, refute the criticism with facts. Don’t let the issue become personal, but don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by criticism that you know you don’t deserve.
Personal accountability is a major factor in professional assertiveness. Three elements of developing personal accountability are: accepting positive feedback, accepting constructive criticism, and dealing with unwarranted criticism.
Developing a Winning Team Style
You can use your assertive approach to ensure that your team comes together and works together to develop a winning style that leads to success. The three primary steps to follow in developing a winning team style are
- clarifying your team’s purpose,
- clarifying team roles, and
- staying on task.
Clarifying your team’s purpose
First, determine what the team is expected to do or accomplish. Be an assertive team member, and encourage your team to clarify its purpose before jumping into other team activities.
You should ask questions that will help clarify the team’s purpose, such as: What exactly is our assignment? If that’s our goal, do we know how to get there? Do we have ideas for an action plan? Raise these questions in team discussions to ensure that everyone on your team agrees on the team’s tasks and ultimate goal.
Clarifying team roles
For your team to successfully follow its strategy and achieve its goal, make sure you clarify the roles various team members need to perform. To do this, you must
- Identify team roles — Identify roles you and your team members need to fill. Decide what roles are essential to your success. Determine if roles should be permanent or if they should rotate among team members.
- Clarify role responsibilities — Be assertive by ensuring that all team members are in agreement about the responsibilities of each team role. Take the time to brainstorm lists of responsibilities. This step helps guarantee that no responsibility is overlooked.
- Assign team roles — Request the role you want to play, and encourage others to do the same. Encourage team members to take individual strengths into account as roles are assigned. Place team members in roles where they can be successful.
Staying on task
Whenever team members are planning activities, remind them to stop and ask themselves if their plans are in line with company strategies and if they will contribute to reaching company goals. This keeps teams on track and helps them to avoid wasted time and effort. “Focus on the goal” is the mantra to repeat to team members.
When you play your role well, your team members are efficient and effective as they work toward the team’s overall goal. Whether as a team member or team lead, you can use an assertive approach to help develop an effective team style.