Why Assertiveness Is An Essential Management Skill

Being Assertive is all about getting your needs met without ignoring the needs and rights of others around you. This also means expressing your needs, wants, opinions, feelings and beliefs in a direct and honest way.

So, in any situation that you find yourself in, the following thoughts should be uppermost in your mind:

  1. You have needs to be met and so do others around you
  2. You have rights and so do others
  3. The aim is to satisfy the needs and rights of both parties
  4. This needs to be achieved through direct and honest expression

The Golden Rule here is that you have two ears and one mouth – put plainly, recognising that you must actively listen to what is going on around you and think about this before speaking.

Being Assertive is all about practicing the skill of both listening and speaking!

Assertiveness includes the way in which you behave and using body language to support and compliment your communication messages.

You MUST focus upon your Locus of Control – this is where you recognise that the outcomes you experience are generated by your own efforts (called Internal Locus of Control) contrasted to situations where your outcomes are determined by mere luck or chance (called External Locus of Control).

A strong Internal Locus of Control indicates and delivers strong self-worth and good assertiveness skills which indicates that you can control and influence events, rather than being at the mercy of external factors, luck or chance, that you have no way of influencing or controlling.

Let’s think of a few practical examples of how this might work, striking the right balance between being Aggressive (which will get you results but which will generate large amounts of negativity towards you, which can never be a good thing), Assertiveness and Submission (where you are at the mercy of people and situations around you, having no control):

  • Thoughts

Aggressive Stance – one-up position, superior position, I am right, even if I am feeling inferior in the situation I will hide this

Assertive Stance – I am equal to those around me in terms of my rights and opinions and am respectful to everyone involved in the situation

Submissive Stance – I am below others involved and am not as important as everyone else here

  • Feelings

Aggressive Stance – my dominant emotion is that of anger, I feel tense and possibly scared and worried but I will mask this

Assertive Stance – my dominant emotion is that of well-being, I feel calm, confident and am excited by the situation

Submissive Stance – my dominant emotion is that of fear, I feel nervous, anxious and possibly guilty

Overall, managing and delivering Assertiveness in your daily and working routines will give you a feeling of confidence, showing that you have and can deliver and achieve tasks with authority and a quiet humility, making sure that you actively listen, process what you hear carefully and methodically and then tailoring your response accordingly.

Assertiveness is the middle path between Aggression and Submission – nobody likes either extreme but popular, successful people are skilled in being Assertive.

Good Luck!

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