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The Importance of Assertiveness (a recent Law Society Speech)


Practising as a solicitor requires strong written and oral advocacy. Being assertive is fundamental to these skills. On 10 July 2015 I spoke at the annual early career lawyers conference hosted by the Queensland Law Society. These are some of the key points from my speech on the importance of assertiveness in the workplace, in dealings with colleagues and in court.

Assertiveness is a way of communicating our feelings, thoughts, and believes in an open, honest manner without violating the rights of others. An assertive person should be confident in what they’re saying and who they are. An assertive person is verbally firm but relaxed. They speak fluently and with minimal hesitations. They should speak at an even pace. They do not yell or mumble. An assertive person maintains good eye contact. I think an assertive person can and should be empathetic as well as open to new ideas.

Assertiveness is not just about talking. It is also about listening. When not talking, an assertive person is receptive, maintains eye contact and shows non-verbal reactions.

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