What is assertive? You will often people use the word and indicate it is a good thing. But what is it?
Assertive is a behaviour. We can be assertive sometimes and sometimes not. Assertive is about putting our point of view. It is a calm approach to work.
Assertive is perhaps more simply defined by what it is not. It is not aggressive and it is not submissive. It is not about forcing our opinion on someone, or trying to impose our view. Equally it is not about saying yea to someone else’s requirements, every time.
Assertiveness is about being balanced. Expressing our thoughts whilst showing understanding for someone else’s viewpoint.
Example. A colleague asks us to do something, but we are already very busy and have enough work to fill the day. Submissive response; just say yes, or say nothing at all and accept the work. Aggressive response; refuse, say no or worse. Assertive response; discuss priorities and when the work could be done bearing in mind current work loads.
Senior people may give the impression that they require a submissive response, but often an assertive response is actually what they require.
Assertive behaviour is very useful in creating a harmonious work atmosphere. We are all more or less assertive and we are assertive in different situations. Developing assertion can be very useful in creating a good work style for ourselves.