How To Be Assertive With Your Boss – 11 Hacks To Learn

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Assertiveness is a skill needed to be successful in life. It’s one of the most important skills and one that you can learn. So you should know how to be assertive with your boss at the workplace.

The difference between an average and extraordinary life is:

– The ability to communicate

– Act with confidence

How To Be Assertive With Your Boss – 11 Hacks To Learn

Many people have faced this kind of challenge in their career, especially if they work at a large company. They cannot get the attention and respect they deserve from their boss.

The best way to deal with this situation is to make everyone hear your voice and understand it. We will share eleven hacks below to help you be more assertive:

1. Be Clear About Your Goals:

It’s important to know your goal when you go to work every day. It makes it easier for you to motivate yourself and focus on the task at hand.

How To Be Assertive With Your Boss

When you have a clear idea of what you hope to do, it helps drop any confusion or uncertainty.

And with this certainty, you know your rights and how to stand up for your beliefs.

When your boss does anything against your goals or ideas, you know you have to stand up for yourself.

Also, remember, bosses, try to be manipulative to get what they want. Therefore, know what you want and stick by it whatever the circumstances.

2. How To Be Assertive With Your Boss – Say No But With Respect:

It’s not always easy to say “no” to your boss. But if you want to keep your job, it’s best to stay assertive and polite.

There will be many situations when your boss asks you for something you don’t want to do. In this situation, do not say “yes.”

Being assertive means taking a stand for yourself. So say “no” if you want to. However, be polite when saying “no.”

You should explain the situation clearly to tell your boss why you don’t want to do this task.

Saying “no” without a proper explanation will make you look rude and arrogant. Avoid the case with politeness. But even then, do not leave your stance.

3. Make Your Boss Listen To You:

Assertiveness is to express one’s ideas, opinions, and feelings without upsetting others. Likewise, you want your boss to listen to you.

And the best way to do that is by telling your boss your side of the story. Make him listen by setting a formal meeting with him.

Come ready for what you have to say. When talking to your boss, professionally express yourself. You can say something like:

“I felt undervalued when [explain the situation].”

This workplace is hostile. I have been feeling attacked lately [explain the situation].”

dont argue

When you are assertive, you can get your way without hurting anyone or getting into arguments. You will also have people on your side.

Being strong is a skill that you can develop with practice and patience.

4. How To Be Assertive With Your Boss – Be Direct And Concise With Your Needs:

Be direct and concise with your boss about what you need. So many people are afraid of confrontation. They go around in circles, worrying about what to say and do.

Therefore, they lose their stance. It is already a huge deal that your boss takes time out for you. Therefore, be direct and concise about what you have to tell him.

Do not go around beating the bush. As discussed in the previous hack, start with what you feel and then explain the situation.

For example,

“I have done exceptional work in the past term, and I deserve a raise.”

“I have too much work right now. Can you extend the deadline, please?”

5. Show Tough Love If Your Boss Bullies You:

Often, bosses try to take advantage of their employees. Some can be passive and not say anything. However, if your boss bullies you, confront him about it.

A boss has a lot of powers and can cause a lot of damage if they choose to abuse the position. The first step is to document everything – dates, times, and significant events. Gather enough proof.

And then it is time to confront your boss about it. Remember to be polite even then. Do not start yelling or get into an argument.

With calmness, explain what actions of your boss make you uncomfortable.

And if he tries to manipulate the situation, get the help of witnesses or your coworkers. You can also take the matter to HR if the problem is intense.

6. Develop self-confidence:

Self-confidence is mandatory when dealing with your boss. Self-confidence is an essential component of success. It allows you to be bolder and more adventurous in your actions and decisions.

self confidence

To increase your confidence, you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can also improve your confidence by:

– Setting goals for yourself

– Being proud of your achievements (but not arrogant)

– Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you

Once you have confidence in yourself, you can stand up before your boss and be assertive. Being assert assertive without self-confidence is impossible.

You can not stand for yourself if you don’t believe in yourself.

7. Learn Difference Between Passive-Aggressiveness and Assertiveness:

Passive aggressiveness is an indirect expression of hostility. People who lack social skills or feel powerless in workplaces use passive-aggressive tactics.

Some examples of passive-aggressive behavior are:

– False altruism

– Stubbornness

– Procrastination

– Intentional failure at assisting with even simple tasks.

The passive-aggressive person responds to conflict with a more indirect type of aggression.

Meanwhile, assertiveness is expressing your emotions, ideas, and opinions without hurting others.

Therefore, learn the difference between passive-aggressiveness and assertiveness. Learn what to use when in front of your boss. Choose the wisest method if you want your boss to go your way.

8. How To Be Assertive With Your Boss – Speak Up And Be Honest:

Speak up and be honest with your boss. Do not hide when it is time to talk about your rights. Your boss wants you to be an open book.

If there is a problem, approach your boss and speak up. Please do not keep it to yourself and get upset about the situation later.

Speak with honesty and clarity about what is bothering you. Let them know the working conditions that affect your performance.

assertive with boss

Moreover, do not exaggerate the situation and make no false accusation. Get your fact right and research what went wrong.

Only when you are 100% sure, then speak up about it with your boss. Only then will you have the confidence to be assertive.

For example, speak up if you have any idea to save a company’s time. If your coworkers are slacking and it affects your work, speak up.

9. Know When To Walk Away:

You sometimes know when to walk away is the best way to be assertive with your boss. If your boss is putting you down, bullying you, or making fun of you, walk away.

When there are no opportunities for growth at work, accept it is time to move on. But do not compromise your self-respect and worth.

Please do not get yourself into a situation where your boss feels it is okay to let you down.

For example,

– If you feel your boss is taking advantage of your hard work

– If your boss uses your words against you or doesn’t implement what you suggest.

– When your boss minimizes your work and contributions

10. Set Boundaries For Yourself:

You must know your boundaries. If you do not set limits or show intolerance for poor treatment. You will lose credibility if you put no limits.

Moreover, you will lose respect if you show bias for poor treatment. Some signs show when it is time to stand up for yourself when:

– Your boss insults you

– Your boss discourages you

– He takes credit for your work

– He puts false accusations on you

– Your boss bullies or harasses you

11. Practice Being Assertive:

Learn how to practice being assertive. It is important for your success in life. And you can learn how to be strong with your boss only after much practice.

how to be assertive

Assertiveness is the ability to express yourself confidently and clearly. Moreover, it is the ability to respect the rights and feelings of others.

People who are assertive know that they have a right to their thoughts and feelings. However, they also understand that other people have a right to theirs.

A strong person knows when to speak up and when it’s time to back off. They say what they mean without being aggressive or passive-aggressive.


Now you have some ideas about how to be assertive. The best way to be assertive with your boss is to express your ideas, opinions, and thoughts.

However, do not compromise yourself. Learn to be assertive to have an equal relationship with your boss. If there are no opportunities for growth at work, do not worry.

It would help if you had self-confidence when you were assertive. Becoming assertive with your boss is not easy. Likewise, assertiveness varies from situation to situation.

Be clear, vocal, polite, and calm when speaking to your boss. Get your facts right and speak up for your rights and stand.

Last Updated on 2 years by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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