September 23, 2007

Ass, Pass or Agg

Passive Assertive AggressiveAssertive is the operative word here, not passive or aggressive. On the human scale - there is passive or laid back, there is aggressive or confrontational and then there is assertive - nicely tucked in the middle. And that is where you want to be.

Passivity and aggressiveness lose primarily because they represent the extremes. Passivity leads to a laid back, cannot defend my turf, subservient frame of mind. In the corporate environment passive people get steamrolled over and generally don't get the respect they deserve. Aggressive people get a lot of notice but not the right kind of attention. Being boorish, loud or confrontation are also not favorable traits.

Assertiveness implies having the confidence to stand your ground, demand what is due to you, clearly project your requirements, speak your mind and make your presence be known. Assertive people are not shy of establishing their domain – but in a professional and respectful fashion. Being boorish or confrontational are not assertive attributes but courage and confidence are.

To be successful one needs to project multiple personality traits and possess various soft skills like communication, tact and resourcefulness. To some degree assertiveness is an acquired skill but investing some effort and time in learning to be assertive can pay off huge dividends in the future.

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