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How to feel empowered in work relationships

The power of individual contribution

As a PA, your relationship with your boss is one of the most important aspects of your career. But that doesn’t mean you have to say ‘yes’ to everything. In order to feel more empowered in your work relationships, psychotherapist Noel Bell has set out some simple steps to take.

Adopt positive body language
Your posture says a lot about how you’re feeling. When we’re anxious we tend to ‘shrink’ ourselves to take up less space. Take a few seconds before every meeting to empower yourself by straightening your back and widening your stance. Control your breathing. All of this decreases the stress hormone cortisol.

Do your least favourite tasks first
If there’s a particular part of your job that stresses you out, try doing it before tasks you enjoy. Tackling difficult activities early on gives you more confidence to complete the rest of the day.

Stick to the facts
If you’re nervous about what to say around your boss, don’t resort to small talk. Simply stay polite and make positive, factual statements that don’t necessarily need a reply.

Preparation is key
Anticipate all possible situations so you can empower yourself to handle them with certainty. Self-confidence isn’t about having all the answers; it’s about conveying poise when sharing what you do know and acknowledging what you don’t.

Seek neutral settings for face-to-face meetings
Where possible, set up meetings in a neutral space – one that his neither his, hers, or yours. Ensure you’re all either sitting or standing so nobody has the ‘higher ground’ or an excuse to not be fully engaged in the conversation.

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