How to Inspire Your Team by Increasing Your Assertiveness

Posted: 17th May 2016 16:02

Working with a team certainly has its challenges, but leading a team adds on much greater responsibility. One such task is making sure everyone knows their individual role. This is key because holding your team accountable ensures you as their leader consistently produces results. However, sometimes it can be difficult to communicate your expectations to your team, especially if you are seen as not being assertive enough. 
Here are five tips you can use to inspire your team by increasing your assertion level.

1. Don't be too Passive, But Don't Be Aggressive

This goes without saying but finding the balance between being passive and aggressive can be extremely difficult to master. If you are wondering where exactly you fit on this behavior spectrum, you may find it useful to take a quick 3-minute assertiveness test to determine your place.  You have to find a way to make sure your team feels empowered, respected, and valued. So, when giving instructions leave room for input or ideas but be clear about what is expected. Also, encourage a sense of community, this way everyone feels like they are part of the success or failure of the team. When you give stern directives everyone knows as the community leader it is your job to ensure success.    

2. Be Motivational

If you can get your team to buy what you're selling, you can be sure to find success every time. Develop a plan and stick to it. Be confident in your ideas but be willing to adapt one that wasn't yours. When your team can trust your skills and judgment as their leader then following you won't be an issue. Although this won't be possible in every situation, encourage them to present ideas or offer solution to problems, even if you already developed a plan. Doing so will increase their sense of value and the morale of the team. If they feel they are contributing directly and not just someone who is disposable, you will see greater results.

3. Be Present

Although you work with your team it doesn't mean you are always there for them. Inspiring them often means actively engaging in conversation, stopping to ask questions, and making sure as their leader you are clear on what each member has contributed. This demonstrates that you aren't just dishing out expectations but when they voice their opinion or idea it can be heard, acknowledged, or even implemented. Again, if your team members feel valued they will be more inclined to listen and follow through.

4. Connect with Your Team   

Although you want to maintain a certain level of authority, if your team feels like they have connected to you then they believe in you. They can trust you as a colleague rather than just an authoritarian. Once a real connection is established communication is made simple because you are working closely with people you have a relationship with. By looking into the importance of team relationships, you will soon come to understand how connecting with them and displaying just the right amount of assertiveness will help strengthen you all collectively.
5. Look for opportunities to develop your team 

Always try to empower your team by giving them chances to take the lead. If you are always leading, although you are the leader, they won't feel like they are growing. Try assigning more roles and passing on some of the responsibility, that way they can develop as individuals too.

Now, like all acquired skills, assertiveness takes time to develop, so don't be discouraged if you don't see any immediate change. Successful leaders command respect and therefore, harnessing this skill will help you tip the balance of not being too passive or too aggressive. All teams require someone who can effectively take on the role and thus by increasing your assertiveness by following these few tips, you should soon find that everyone will be benefiting from your new and improved approach.