Are You Aggressive or Assertive? The Answer Matters!

Do you recognize this cast of workplace characters?  The “my way or the highway” tough guy (or girl), the gossipy saboteur, and the quiet pushover.  It’s fair to say just about every organization has them. But then there’s the one who always seems to get his or her point across. The assertive one.  The one who is calm, confident, and communicates with a synergistic attitude. I’m sure you agree that your organization needs more people to assume this role.

In today’s complex business world, collaboration is no longer a nicety. It’s an expectation that’s paramount to our success. From resolving misunderstandings with colleagues to negotiating the complex terms of a deal, we aim to influence people on a daily basis—whether we’re aware of it or not. And the best way to communicate this is to be assertive. It’s the ability to express one’s views clearly and directly while respecting the rights and needs of others.

There’s still hope if your organization has its fair share of openly aggressive, concealed aggressive, or passive characters. Because the good news is that assertiveness is a learned skill. And that means that with a little (ok, maybe a lot) of help and the right training tools, people can work toward developing a more assertive influence style.

The Interpersonal Influence Inventory has been an HRDQ bestseller for over 20 years. This communication assessment is a highly effective way of showing people how they come across to others—and how they can improve upon that. With this awareness plus some practice and repetition, you can begin to transform your organization’s demanding, sneaky, or uninvolved characters into productive, win-win communicators.

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