Be Assertive: Finding the right balance between Passive and Aggressive Behavior

“You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel”- Robert Tew

The ultimate objective of a successful professional is to strive towards the pinnacle of the hierarchy and steer towards success. This means he/she needs to have certain qualities like leadership qualities. But just possessing those qualities are not sufficient. It is imperative that one should have a proper channel of expression. Some people are passive in nature. They agree to other people’s views and opinions even if those cause trouble and inconvenience to them.

Passive people are simply frigid in nature. On the other hand, aggressive people will agree to cooperate only when they believe it serves their interest, and even they would prefer not to. The purpose has to be very strong to elicit a response from them (like they might get fired if they don’t) that they have no other choice.

The balance between aggressiveness and passivity is difficult to be achieved. Going too extreme in either direction can undermine your productivity.Instead, let us aim to be assertive. The assertive person has a lot of clarity in his thoughts and actions. He always speaks his mind and inflicts his infectious passion upon all his team members to keep them going.

What is wrong being either passive or aggressive at the workplace?
There has always been a scuffle- whether to be aggressive, passive or assertive at the workplace? Have you ever found yourself dealing with an aggressive employer? Are you passive? Aggression is all about exhibiting dominance. An aggressive employer will trespass into other colleague’s personal space and forcibly impose his will on him and force him to adhere to it.
He can resort to crude words to get his job done.
Passivity, on the other hand, is all about being submissive willing to accept all the wishes and desires of their dominant partner. Passive people, like everyone else, do not like to be dominated but for maintaining peace and sanity and avoiding any conflict or coercion in the workplace, they succumb to the dominating whims of the employers.
Being neither passive nor aggressive in the workplace helps. They pose potential threats to the growth of the professionals and largely to the growth of the organization. One doesn’t get all the support to climb up to the highest levels. There aren’t too many people around who would like to spend time with either passive or aggressive people by choice.
Some passive and aggressive people may do pretty well for themselves in the short run. But it hinders their long-term success. Passive and aggressive people find themselves all alone, disrespected and it becomes difficult to exploit their potentialities. They could do much better for themselves if they decide to change themselves. So it is time for a makeover!

So what is the Way Out?
Be assertive. Assertiveness is seen as a confident, pleasant and agreeable trait. To be assertive is a difficult process, it requires more skills than aggression but it is worth it. The results are pleasant and appreciable.

Advantages of being Assertive at Workplace:-
 Gain Respect: When you are assertive no one can take advantage of you. It won’t be easy for bossy people like your manager or colleagues to intimidate you. Once people understand that you represent all business and mean no-nonsense, people will start respecting you.

 Learn to have a hold over your emotions: Controlling one’s emotions at work place is of paramount importance. Lack of it becomes a sign of weakness. An assertive person has a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) and he knows how to be in control of his emotions.

 Set boundaries for yourself: No one messes up with an assertive person. He sets his boundaries and limits so clear that people around him knows how to behave and what to expect from him. When boundaries are well set and defined, it brings a lot of transparency and clarity in the professional relationship which helps you to limit unpleasant behavior, requests and interactions.

 Make your body language positive: An assertive person exhibits a confident demeanor and that makes his body language more positive. This clearly sends out a positive signal not to rub him up the wrong way. Assertiveness portrays you as a leader and you gain respect in all walks of your life.

 Gain the confidence to ask for what you want: Do you have an impending promotion at the workplace? Being assertive will help you put this across the table and discuss your views with your boss in a very objective manner. By assertively communicating with your manager, the chances of you eventually landing up with the promotion soon increases.

The Way Ahead

Assertiveness is about finding the right and the middle way between passivity and aggression. Having the ability to express your needs and upheld your self-esteem, integrity and dignity without violating other people’s rights is what assertiveness teaches you. Be assertive! Be happy at the end of the day.