I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.

When building a profitable practice, you must know how to effectively assert yourself. Assertiveness is an important skill for effective communication as an adult. Assertiveness allows you to advocate for yourself and your needs in a healthy way. Some people interpret assertiveness as hostility or rudeness. Many factors can go into how assertiveness is interpreted or received.

Let’s take a look at ways to advocate for yourself in an effective manner.

What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness is an interpersonal skill. It demonstrates your confidence and allows you to advocate for your needs, desires, and boundaries while being respectful toward others. You are taking care of yourself by looking out for yourself.

Here are some steps to being assertive:

Ask for what you want or need respectfully.

  1. It’s OK to say no.
  2. Speak your mind.
  3. Remember that you are not responsible for the other party’s response.
  4. You have a right to your feelings.
  5. Use “I” statements when speaking.
  6. Don’t apologize for your feelings or needs.

Remember, delivery matters. You can definitely be assertive without being rude. Tact is a thing; so is delivery. How you advocate for your needs can make a difference in how it is received. You can be assertive without being aggressive or impolite. Using “I” statements to convey your needs helps the person you’re speaking to understand that you are stating your needs and not placing blame. At times, people may take assertiveness as rudeness when it is not. This is not your responsibility. Stay calm, keep it positive and constructive, but speak your needs. You have to practice. Practice, practice, practice.

Assertiveness comes easy for some, and it is an anxiety-inducing challenge for others. The thing is, the more you do it the easier it gets. If being assertive does not come naturally for you, start small. Practice stating your opinions in lower fidelity situations first. Gain confidence as you go. Don’t apologize for stating your wants and needs. Know your boundaries and beliefs on bigger issues and be ready to peacefully and proactively advocate for your needs.

Don’t place that blame or share your wants and needs in a confrontation or aggressive manner. Don’t yell or shout or be unwilling to hear the other person out. Do your best to stay calm and diplomatic. Also, understand that you can’t force someone to respect your assertive request and behavior. You know what is best for you and only you can decide what to do if your requests are not honored. Stay true to your integrity and values.

I am Dr. Hassan, Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own independent practice so that they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Please go to businessofrehab.com/guide to pick up the free guide to help you determine the best business entity for your new practice.


Assertive is just one of many soft skills. Check out our blog here for career tips to help you develop more soft skills.


Attention, Physiatrists! Stop leaving money on the table. Sign up for the free video series: How To Build A Profitable Practice in 90 Days or Less: http://www.sixtytosuccess.com