Whether you’re dealing with workplace bullying or harassment, you must be able to advocate for yourself (and others).
Of course, this is easier said than done. In fact, a recent study found that 50% of employees stay silent during workplace disputes and will not voice their concerns to higher-ups even when prompted. While this is a perfectly natural response to conflict, it’s something that needs to change.
With that in mind, here are three tips that you can use to advocate for yourself (and others) at work.
Fight Off Imposter Syndrome.
Approximately 70% of adults will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives, especially when they’re first starting out in their careers. These feelings of inadequacy or a lack of belonging, however, are more than just an internal struggle, as they’ll also begin to impact the way you interact with others in the workplace. For example, it could mean that you allow others to talk down to you, as you perceive them to be more intelligent and more capable than you are. You may allow them to talk over you during meetings, which means that, over time, your opinions are disregarded.
As such, learning how to fight off imposter syndrome can help you to stand up for yourself. This is because you’ll feel much more confident speaking up and sharing your thoughts with others – even when they could lead to a potential conflict. In short, it’s a way to ensure you don’t remain silent at work, as you’ll learn that your opinions deserve to be heard.
Know your rights.
According to a recent study, 1 in 5 workers do not know their rights. This means that they’re vulnerable to exploration from employers. As such, one of the easiest ways to ensure you can stand up for yourself in any professional scenario is to familairze yourself with your rights. While this can vary from location to location, they’re generally pretty similar across the board.
For example, employers must provide you with access to a safe working environment – meaning you’re within your rights to speak up and complain if you think that workplace safety standards are not being followed correctly.
Seek legal support if necessary.
In some cases, to stand up for yourself, you have to seek out external support. This is because the actions of employers or other employees within your workplace are against the law. For example, if you’re being harassed, you should reach out to a sexual harassment attorney who can help you to press charges. While this can seem daunting, you do not deserve to be treated that way at work, and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
Working with an attorney means your best interests are protected moving forward, and they’ll also be able to answer any questions you may have about the legal process – which can quickly become complicated or overwhelming. However, if you are pursuing this kind of legal action, you should also look into therapeutic services so that you’re getting emotional support too.