Do you ever feel like you are being taken advantage of at work? Do you ever feel like you can’t stand up for what you think or believe at work?
One thing that I have learned is that you have to speak up for what you think, because if you don’t, it usually results in more time and work. Even if no one listens to what I have to say, at least I have said my piece. I remember how hard it was to stand up for myself when I first started my job. It was terribly difficult.
Now that I have been with my company for 6 years, people now expect me to say what I believe. And they actually value and listen to what I have to say, but it isn’t always easy. I disagree with people. I have to tell them they are not right. That is terribly hard, but sometimes that is just part of your job and what you are hired to do.
If you always agree with other people, you will not be valuable to your organization for being able to think on your own and share your great ideas.
Here is what Forbes has to say about standing up for yourself at work:
Knowing how to stand up for yourself at work is an essential skill. Whether you’re being overworked, treated unfairly or micromanaged, the way to successfully stick up for yourself is to remain professional. Lay out your argument in a confident yet calm manner, and choose your words wisely.”
So, if you feel like you are being pushed around by a mean coworker or pressured into doing tasks you don’t want to do or you believe aren’t the right things you SHOULD be doing, here are my five tips to help you stand up for yourself at work today:
Don’t Get Angry
I wish I could say that I always followed this tip. Sometimes, it is hard for me to remain calm and relaxed when someone is trying to convince me of something I know is wrong. You can stand up for yourself and defend your arguments MUCH easier if you don’t get mad. Also when you get mad, the other person will get mad right back at you and effective communication is out the window! So take a deep breath, and try your absolute best to remain calm and relaxed.
If you need to defend what you believe in, make sure you have a few notes written down or practice in your head what you are going to say. You don’t want to finally get a chance to say something and then have it get jumbled and not make sense. Think about how you could do your work more efficiently and better. Write it down and tell your boss what you think. Think about what types of great opportunities you really want at your company. Write them down and tell your boss where you want to go next.
If you are going to be convincing, you can’t back down. Even if no one believes what you have to say and they think you are stupid, stick to what you believe. There are certain types of people in this world who always have to be right and will try to convince everyone to agree with them. They will not like you for arguing with them and showing them another perspective. But who cares what they think?
You have demonstrated a very valuable characteristic by speaking up. You are now even more valuable to your team because you have a mind of your own and you use it instead of just going along with the status quo. Don’t give in. A situation like this happened to me last week. I didn’t give in and 15 minutes later, the person I was talking to came back and finally said he agreed with me. Glad I didn’t back down!
Trust Your Instincts
If something just doesn’t feel right, say something. I often have this pit in my stomach when someone says something I don’t believe in. If it is a client or boss, I don’t want to interrupt because that is impolite. Trust your instincts, and find the right time to bring up the matter. You don’t want to make them look dumb, but you do want to get your ideas on the table. So trust your instincts. If you know you have to say something but don’t feel comfortable in a big meeting, find another time.