Assertive is often referred to as a type of personality but, after having read e above quote one starts wondering if there is more to it than what one understands. If one looks at an ocean and terms it as water, the person probably doesn’t have the depth to understand its vast expanse, its rich marine and mineral wealth and its calmness in the depths of ocean bed. The person is also missing out to see an exceptional quality of an ocean to accept everything that joins it, reject what is not required and retain the best. It is like missing woods for the sake of trees.
Can the above be applied to a person? Certainly I would say. A person is what he is inside which gets reflected in what he thinks, speaks and does. That’s why the quote says assertiveness is “Who you are”. Whatever the walk of life and occupation be, assertiveness plays an important part in defining roles, relationships and results. It is also a major contributor in the success of an individual and organization.
What is Assertiveness? A reader may well be tempted to ask the question and the best answer I feel is a quote by an unknown author “I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful and too determined to be defeated.” Assertiveness is carrying oneself with self belief and translating into speech and actions. Let us discuss some qualities of an Assertive Person.
Sure Footed: An assertive person is always well aware of what he says and does and never depicts even an iota of doubt. The surety comes from the fact that he is always armed with facts and figures, research, subject knowledge and his own ability to perform and excel for example, if introduction of a new product during turbulent economic condition is being discussed and many are doubtful of its success, an assertive person will raise to the occasion and say “I do understand that the market conditions are not encouraging and introducing a new product may be viewed as a disaster. However, I have a different opinion. I feel that our belief in our quality, product and service are best tested when we show them during difficult conditions. Most of our competitors are lying low and waiting for the right moment and this is where we have an upper hand. People are now looking for low cost and high quality product and we can deliver it to them. I would like to spearhead this project and ensure its success.”
Respect and Flexibility: Assertiveness is in understanding that the world is made up of many kinds of people and everyone has a specific role to play. An assertive person is so deep and vast that he has the ability to listen to all views without being judgmental, take the best and politely put aside the rest. “I thank Mr X for his excellent views on ABC topic and would be happy if more details on how he reached the conclusion could be given.” It may be possible that the views expressed by Mr X were not at all relevant or practical in which case he may say “Thank you Mr X for your views. I beg to differ on few aspects and would like to offer my reasons.”
Leading by Example: An assertive person leads by example and inspires others to perform. He does not let either designation or qualifications to come in the way of demonstrating how a thing has to be done. He remains balanced always and encourages peace and harmony in the team.