Published on October 28, 2014
"John, he's not assertive, just bloody rude!" Was the response to what I thought was a pretty neutral question to a manager about a team-member about who we had been approached with a view to helping him to "moderate his style". Assertiveness. The subject of training programmes, coaching interventions and one-to-one conversations with a sad truth attached to it. The necessary amount i s often context specific and power related. So, what do we do about getting off the fence and understanding something about assertiveness and it's relationship with how we feel about others and how we feel about ourselves, how do we exercise some control over our messages and for supervisors and managers who encourage their team- members to participate in assertiveness programmes? Do they in turn need to be careful what they wish for? Individuals who overplay their assertiveness are hard work and they need to understand that as with any "overplayed strength", it can end up hurting you. It's tough to face up to the fact that your "clarity and purpose and willingness to challenge," can be easily (and yes, sometimes deliberately and cynically ) misinterpreted .