Assertive and Aggressive behaviors are often confused depending on the person, situation, tone of voice, and culture of the organization.
Assertive: Based on Balance. Your wants and needs are met at the same time you consider others’ wants and needs. It’s creating a winning solution for everyone, if possible.
Passive: Based on others taking control while ignoring your needs and wants.
Aggressive: Based on winning. You focus on own best interest without regard for the rights, needs, feelings, or desires of other people.
Why Be Assertive?
You can become more confident and valuable to the team. Be perceived as a leader.
Make great managers and leaders. They get things done by treating people with fairness and respect. In return they are often treated the same way. This means that they are often well-liked and seen as leaders that people want to work with.
Negotiate successful “win-win” solutions. They are able to recognize the value of their opponent’s position and can quickly find common ground with them.
Are better problem solvers. They feel empowered to do whatever it takes to find the best solution to the problems that they encounter.
Are less anxious and stressed. They are self-assured and don’t feel threatened or victimized when things don’t go as planned or as expected.
HOW TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE
1. Understand yourself and believe in the value you bring. Recognize that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
2. Voice Your Needs and Wants Confidently. Don’t wait for someone else to recognize what you need. You might wait forever!
3. Acknowledge That You Can’t Control Other People’s Behavior. Don’t accept responsibility for how people react to your assertiveness. You can only control yourself and your own behavior, so do your best to stay calm and measured if things get tense.
4. Express yourself in positive ways – drop words like: can’t, stupid, hate. Stand up for yourself and control your negative emotions (fear, disappointment.)
5. Learn to say “no.” Your value is not decreased when you say no to something that’s not right for you. People may actually respect you more!
Being assertive takes effort if you’re not used to it. Passive behavior removes responsibility. Aggressive allows quick action without considering others.
The power position is assertiveness!
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