7 Ways to Be More Assertive and Authoritative

A Confidence Coaching Success Story with Jenny Lau
January 9, 2012
Refresh Your Energy!
January 10, 2012
Make eye contact.

Whether you’re giving a presentation to a roomful of people or negotiating a better deal on a car repair, making eye contact is key. When you’re so focused on what you’re saying or doing it can be easy to converse with people without actually looking at them. Making eye contact infers that what you have to say is important and that the person to whom you are saying it is important too.

Don’t lead with a disclaimer.

We  tend to pepper our ideas with disclaimers and apologies, like “I don’t know if this will work, but…” or “This might not be what you were thinking of, but…” Instead of giving your audience a reason to discount what may be an excellent idea, present it without any judgment at all and let them decide what they think. You’ll be surprised at how much people will trust you if you trust yourself.


Stand up while you’re on the phone.

It may sound silly, but getting up out of your chair while you’re on an important call—whether it’s to your insurance provider or a potential employer––can help make your voice sound more authoritative.

Avoid turning statements into questions.

Tell someone what you’re thinking, don’t ask them.  We often do this in mundane circumstances, like when ordering food or responding to simple questions. To overcome this habit, keep the three “Ds” in mind: Be decisive, definitive and deliberate.  Never answer a question with a question.

Dress the part.

Dressing for success doesn’t necessarily mean donning a suit. Instead, make a note of what everyone else is wearing, and emulate their style in a put-together way. If the dress code at work is slacks and a button-down shirt, invest in a few sharp-looking separates that will ensure you fit in with the office culture.

Make yourself visible at meetings.
When it comes to commanding authority, having height helps. You want to stand as often as possible.  This means rising when someone comes to chat with you at your desk or standing, when appropriate, during meetings. By showing up right on time, once all of the chairs are taken, you’ll be forced to stand, which will automatically give you a bigger presence in the room and your stature will subtly connote authority.

Manage your boss’s expectations.

Think that promising to tackle that giant pile of expense reports by 5 p.m., despite having no experience with accounting, will endear you to your boss? Offering to take on work that is outside your area of expertise won’t impress anyone—especially when you turn in a less-than-stellar final product. On the other hand, avoiding projects like the plague won’t impress your superiors either, since being a team player is essential for career development. If you’re asked to do (or want to volunteer for) something that you know you can’t handle alone, be honest about your limitations. Say something like, ‘I’m always up for learning, but this project might take me a little bit longer and I may need a few extra resources.’ People will respect you more for being honest rather then taking the assignment, turning it in late and flubbing it. Plus, you’ll be able to manage your team’s expectations while still giving yourself a fair shot to complete the work.


If you’re thinking about Confidence Coaching, please feel free to call or email me to discuss the different packages I offer. I’d be happy to assist you in determining which program would be most beneficial to you in your life right now. Contact me now-CLICK HERE!

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