zandax online course logo
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

5 Work Situations Where It’s Necessary to Be Assertive

From the ZandaX Assertiveness Blog

Articles to help you be assertive and self confident

Home  >  Blogs Home  >  Development Blog  >  Assertiveness Articles  > 
5 Work Situations Where It’s Necessary to Be Assertive

5 Work Situations Where It’s Necessary to Be Assertive

A post from our Assertiveness blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
Assertiveness is often confused with aggression but even though both characteristics involve sticking up for yourself and what you believe in, they are, in fact, very different. The difference between the two lies in the level of respect you give yourself and the person in front of you. When you're assertive, you respect both yourself and the other person. On the other hand, when you're aggressive, you respect no-one, but least of all yourself.

Today, assertiveness is one of the most important keys to being successful and respected, both in and out of the office. Although learning to say ‘no' sounds like a relatively easy task, it isn't as simple as one would think – especially in a workplace situation.

Most people are concerned about their jobs and think that being assertive would adversely affect their career so, more often than not, they bite back any protest and keep their personal opinion to themselves. The general perception is that employers won't appreciate outspoken employees who have their own ideas and thoughts.

However, recruiters say otherwise. Statistics show that free-thinking, individuality, creativeness and assertiveness are all prized in an employee and there's rarely any need to shy away from voicing your opinion. In fact, there are times when you should be vocal.

But what are some of those workplace situations when you should always be assertive? Have a look at our top five tips below.

1. When your instinct sounds an alarm

When you're being assertive, you're standing up for what you think is right. There are times when your knowledge comes in direct conflict with a manager's or colleague's information.  This is a common experience and many people regret not speaking up when the time was right.

For example, take this situation as an example. You're working on a marketing campaign and get an offer to appear on a radio or television interview. However, you know that that particular station or channel regularly publishes thoughts and opinions that are in conflict with your company's ethics.

Your colleagues or superiors might consider it a good opportunity to get the word out there. However, your experience and your instincts say otherwise. If you think that appearing on that particular network might harm your company's marketing efforts in the long run, you need to speak up. It doesn't matter if your opinion is accepted or rejected. By being assertive, you're making sure that your voice is heard.

Want to Be More Assertive?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $59 – limited time offer just $12.00

2. When you don't have the skill

It's quite common for people to accept work that is beyond their abilities. Naturally, you want to explore new avenues, expand your knowledge and your skills. It is good practice to take on challenging jobs and push yourself – that's how you can improve and move forward, after all.

However, you need to recognise and accept that some things are just beyond your scope. For example, let's say you're asked to create an attractive brochure for your company. But while you're an excellent word-smith, you don't know anything about graphic design.

You might be tempted to try, but you'd be putting your company's marketing campaign on the line for the sake of experimentation. In this case, you're better off saying no.

3. When you don't have the time

This point is connected to the previous one. In some cases, you just don't have the time. Sometimes, you may have two or three assignments that you're working on at the same time. Your employer then decides to hand you another task that would require a lot of effort and comes with a tight deadline.

Although you might be tempted to pull and all-nighter in order to get the work done, this is another situation where you must stop and assess first. You might have a prior personal commitment or maybe your health doesn't permit it, and working late into the night can lead to mental fatigue. In this case, it might be a good idea to just say no and step away.

4. If it goes against your morals

There might be times when your work, feelings and ethics are in conflict. Sometimes, you might consider it worthwhile to ignore your instincts and say yes. But if you know it may weigh on your conscience later on, you might be better off saying no.

For example, let's say you're a staunch support of healthy diet in children. Yet, you're asked to work on a project that is promoting a food item that would only harm them and is of very little nutritional value. Here, you will need to consider your feelings on the matter before making a decision. If you think that you'll feel ill-at-ease throughout the project, don't accept it.

Assertiveness isn't just something that might help you go forward, it also helps your employers recognise this. When you're assertive, you're being honest about your opinions and thoughts. That earns a measure of respect from people around you.

5. When your safety is at risk

There might be certain situations where your health and safety is at risk. This is especially applicable to people working in high-risk jobs, such as construction or transportation. If you identify a situation where your health and well-being might be at risk, you need to take a step back and evaluate the situation more carefully. Workplace accidents happen when people are reckless or in a hurry to get things done.

For example, if you're a delivery truck driver and are asked to deliver goods during a severe snow-storm, you need to consider the request carefully before making a decision. If you're being asked to deliver emergency supplies, you might be willing to risk an accident. But you should only accept a task like that if the danger is acceptable to you.

However, if it isn't an emergency situation and you don't want to take a chance, regardless of the pay, say no and stick to it. In such cases, you can politely and firmly state that you won't jeopardise your well-being.

Want to Be More Assertive?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $59 – limited time offer just $12.00

Back to the Assertiveness blog

Click the button for more Assertiveness articles.

The ZandaX Personal Development blog

Click a panel for great articles on personal development

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2022
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Learn About:
Personal Development
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel 2021 / 365
Introduction to Advanced (*NEW*)
Microsoft Excel VBA
Introduction & Intermediate
Microsoft Excel 2013 / 2016
Introduction to Professional
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft PowerPoint 365 (2021)
Ultimate all-in-one (*NEW*)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2019
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013/2016
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word 365 (2019)
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013/2016
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft Access courses
Microsoft Access 365 (2019)
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft Access 2013/2016
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook 365 (2019)
Ultimate all-in-one (*NEW*)
Microsoft Outlook 365 (2019)
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft Outlook 2013/2016
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting
... there will be more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Successful management takes hard work! Take a look at our courses that give you the tools to get ahead of the rest.
Team Leadership courses
Here's How to Do It!
Practical ways to manage teams for success
Learn real-world techniques that get results:
  • SMART Goals & How to Use Them
  • Communication Skills for Managers
  • Building & Managing Trust
  • ... and much more!
Sales Management courses
Your Keys to Success are here!
Learn how to set up & manage sales teams
in a structured and professional way:
  • Creating a Solid Foundation
  • Setting Up Your Team for Success
  • Sales Processes & Selling Techniques
  • Forecasting, Setting Targets & Using KPIs
Great, easy-to-follow courses on how to succeed in sales, sales management and presentations
Drive Your Sales to New Levels
Selling Skills course
Learn how to sell more, to more people
Your Keys to Success are here!
Sales Management course
Manage your team for great results
Deliver Presentations that Get Results
Presentation Skills course
Build and deliver great presentations
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this