I am often asked by employers to assist in empowering and engaging their employees by explaining the difference between empowered and assertive employees and passive and dis-empowered employees. Assertiveness is a useful technique that can be particularly useful in Leadership, customer service and project roles. It also comes in very handy for those working as Executive Assistant or Personal Assistant!
For some, being assertive at work and in their personal lives, can be a scary thing.
Let’s begin by looking at a few of the disadvantages to being unassertive. These include:
• Always working late or taking on extra tasks
• Resenting other people for asking you to do things for them
• Not spending time on your own self-care as you are too busy looking after everyone else’s needs
• Failing to speak up during meetings
• Keeping quiet due to Fear.
• Irritability and frustration as you ‘ swallow’ your feelings
However, here are a few Advantages to being Assertive.
• More self-confident and able to look after yourself and balance your workload
• Increased empowerment and learning to put good boundaries in place.
• Learning to prioritise tasks.
• Courageous Conversations
• Communicating your needs openly and honestly
• Dealing with difficult situations calmly and firmly.
• Taking control of your own career path
Let’s also take a look at what being assertive IS NOT.
IT IS NOT BEING PASSIVE
Being passive is a very common behavior. We often learn to be passive in order protect or feelings, income or career.
A passive person basically allows other people to take control. Ever apologized for something that wasn’t your fault? Yep, you’ve guessed it – that is also passive!
IT IS NOT BEING AGGRESSIVE
Aggressive Behavior includes hostile behavior such as yelling, violence and overt anger. Aggressive people often behave like this to disrespect others and help them feel superior.
Interestingly, aggressive people often believe they have more rights than other people.
So what is Assertive Behavior?
Assertiveness is empowerment! It is a clear and straightforward communication method. Learning assertive techniques means learning to communicate more clearly and directly with others. It is learning that saying NO is OK.
An interesting point is that when you act in an assertive way it actually builds on your self-esteem and confidence (and the self-esteem of others).
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.