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How to Empower Your Work Presence

Being able to assert yourself at work (and in life!) is an important skill that will serve you well. Not only will it help you self-advocate and advocate for others, it will help you communicate with clarity and bring more to the table in a team environment.

Last month, we covered how to achieve a polite, confident and assertive style of communication over email (more on that here), but what about in person? These are often the hardest moments because you’ll need to use your voice and body language in a very deliberate way – especially if you’re being spoken over, having your ideas repeated back to you as if you never vocalised them or being expected to stay in a meeting when you need to be somewhere else.

Read on to see how we’d respond to some of these scenarios, and start thinking about how you can build self-advocacy and allyship into your working life.

1. That was my idea, mate.

2. Uh, you just took credit for someone else’s idea.

3. Let’s take this outside.

4. I’ve got things to say.

5. Feedback is great... when it’s constructive.

6. I know a lot of things... but not what you're asking.

7. Gotta go, bye.

Note: Of course, certain situations may require you to deviate from these recommendations. If you feel you’re not in a safe space to speak up, use your instincts or ask a trusted mentor if you’re not sure how to respond.

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