Keep wanting to be heard? Make suggestions and others don’t seem to hear you? Had the feeling of making a comment repeated by someone 30 minutes after you offered a suggestion and they get the credit?

Low confidence and poor assertiveness skills can be part of a common circular pattern: In order to get along with others or preserve the peace, you may be unassertive (passive) and let others make all of the decisions. Eventually frustration or resentment can set in, leading to aggressive behavior such as criticizing, demeaning or pushing others away. Guilt then sets in, causing a relapse into being unassertive. Communicating assertively by taking responsibility and ownership for what you want and think without putting other people down or embarrassing them is a key way to avoid this pattern.

Assertiveness can be learned, and developed by following the tips like these from

If you or someone with whom you work exhibit these behaviors, seeking the advice and tips at provides a quick remedy:

  • Goes along with what others want just to keep the peace; is reluctant to set limits or say no

  • Fails to set and act on personal goals

  • Insists on having his or her own way, sometimes to the detriment of others

  • Interrupts and talks over others

  • Criticizes others in derogatory or sarcastic ways

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

Alberti, Robert E., and Michael L. Emmons. Your Perfect Right: Assertiveness and Equality in Your Life and Relationships (9th ed.). Atascadero, CA: Impact Publishers, 2008.

Bower, Sharon A., and Gordon H. Bower. Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change (Updated 2nd ed.). Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 2004.

Paterson, Randy J. The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2000.

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