“You’ll get better results if you understand and calibrate your assertiveness style.” Geil Browning, Emergenetics
by Geil Browing,
Here are four tips to assert yourself in the right way, no matter where you personally fall on the spectrum:
- Know your team.
A group of people who are even-keeled and amiable need you to take time to listen to their ideas and collaborate. On the other hand, employees who tend to drive things forward, need you to show that you’re in control; give them directions, set deadlines, and empower them to do the same.
- Assertive doesn’t mean aggressive.
Being task-oriented and decisive, and having high expectations for others, is one thing. Raising your voice and beating your fists on the table will set a different tone altogether.
- Peacekeepers can be dangerously close to pushovers.
Always communicating and getting things done by being non-confrontational and genial does not equate to continual harmony within your group. It can lessen influence and imperatives.
- Read the room.
If you are keenly aware of yourself and your team, you can truly flex your assertiveness to your situation. Figure out when a little fiery language will stir the crowd to meet a tough deadline, or when people need even-toned conciliation to get through a stressful time.
Getting back to Eric, the Midwest manufacturing manager. I told him his most effective strategy is to be authentic, and embody his most natural assertiveness style. Then, whether you are driving ideas or bringing consensus to a group, the trick is to know how to fine-tune your approach.