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Article: 5 Tips for Being Assertive With Your Boss Related Resources
5 Tips for Being Assertive With Your Boss
by Jonar C. Nader

(ARA) - The clock on your computer reads 9:50 a.m. Your palms begin to sweat and your heart beats faster as you realize your meeting with the boss is only ten minutes away. How will the boss react to your suggestions or your demands? Do you really want to take a stand with your boss, or should you be second-guessing yourself?

Intimidation and fear of authority is a common occurrence in the workplace, but being assertive at work and in life shouldn't have to be a nerve-racking experience. It should be considered a stepping-stone to improving your life and the components therein.

According to best-selling author, lecturer and technology consultant, Jonar C. Nader, all staff members in an organization should feel empowered to express their views to their superiors; indeed, these workers ought to think of themselves as high-level employees. "Staff members are there to execute management's plans. From execute we arrive at the word executive. Staff members [therefore] are executives," Nader writes in his new book "How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People." This controversial philosophy may not sit well in the executive offices of corporate America, but according to Nader, it's imperative that workers establish the proper mindset before they confront their boss.

Nader offers five tips to help you address problems and concerns with your boss. These strategies can also be applied to other relationships and begin a life-long process of life management.

1. Pick the right fight and understand the root-cause of the problem. Asking yourself what you are trying to achieve can lead to the discovery of your true motivations, healthy or unhealthy.

2. Try to keep your energy in check. Mental, physical and emotional energy are all important when addressing someone about a problem. "At the end of the day, after you assess everything, all you have that is of value for a fight is your energy," says Nader. By wasting this energy unnecessarily, you decrease your chances of achieving the goals you've set.

3. Before confronting your boss, it's important to decide if the fight is worthwhile. By examining the bigger picture and questioning the company or institution as a whole, you can examine if your energy would be better utilized somewhere else, on someone else. Nader argues, for example, that it's a waste of time to battle a boss who has been "demoralized and crushed by the corporation" - he or she likely will move on and be replaced by another boss. "You are best to decide if the company is right for you," says Nader, "or if you should be fighting the corporate culture instead."

4. If you determine the problem is truly with your boss, you must be willing to accept the consequences of confrontation. Ask yourself if you are in a position to be picking a fight. Engaging in an argument over a minor issue may be an unwise decision if you can't afford to lose your job.

5. When addressing problems with superiors or others in your life, it is important to remain courteous and honorable without giving in to the "yes man" syndrome. Walk in the door with your facts straight. Controlling your emotions is an important aspect of communication, but knowing you are right gives you more power and leverage to achieve your final goal.

Nader points out that addressing problems and concerns at work also means becoming a leader, for yourself and for those around you, and affirming your purpose in doing so. In his book, Nader characterizes a leader as someone who creates, someone who is willing to cut a new path. New paths are often rocky, but they also can be the most rewarding. He explains that people are neither leaders nor followers, but both. "There exists a famous notion that 'to lead, one must follow.' This is fallacious. To lead, one must follow one's spirit faithfully, not other people," Nader explains in his book.

Standing up for what you believe in isn't always an easy thing to do, especially when dealing with authority figures. Being able to ask for what you want, or offer a suggestion without fear of rejection means you are beginning to take control of your life. "If you don't control your life," says Nader, "Someone else will."

For more information on Jonar C. Nader and his book "How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People, visit Nader's Web site at

Courtesy of ARA Content,, e-mail:


EDITOR'S NOTES: For more information on Jonar C. Nader, visit his Web site at, or call Brian Feinblumb from Planned Television Arts at (212) 583-2718.
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