Assertiveness is much talked about topic whenever we speak about Leadership Development or even any sort of professional development. While the online platform provides lots of content on what is assertiveness and benefits of assertiveness, I thought of jotting down three things that Assertiveness is not. These are few thoughts which you might come across while understanding assertiveness. There are few such common thoughts which are known as Myths of Assertiveness. We are jotting does three such myths of assertiveness which might make you understand assertiveness better.
Myth 1 – “Assertiveness is almost same as Aggressiveness.”
Some people might think they are assertive while being aggressive, because they can clearly state what their needs are but, the main difference lies in not violating or hurting or disrespecting others and the words to use, the body language and the tonality of what you say. There is not a fine line, rather a huge difference between being assertive and aggressive.
Myth 2 – “If I am Assertive, I will get whatever I want to”
Assertive is not a tool or magic or quick fix which guarantees you that you will achieve results. Its a communication style which makes a great impact on your life if implemented properly. This is not a winning tool or a debating style. Assertiveness helps you express yourself properly and clearly in a way that respects your needs and wants along with others. When you practise assertiveness, sometimes you will get what you want, sometimes you will not get what you want and sometimes you will get some of what you want in a mutually beneficial way which will be satisfactory to everyone with whom you are communicating. Assertiveness will help you be clear and state clearly what you want and also help you maintain healthy relationships.
Myth 3 – “ If I am Assertive, I need to be Assertive “
When you understand assertiveness and start practicing it, you will clearly understand the situations where you need to be assertive and where you need not to be. There will be some situations where being assertive might not be helpful. For example, if you are handling a drunk person who is getting aggressive and violent, or where some urgent work came up at office and you wanted to go for a movie, or if you are handling someone who is in deep low on emotions – Assertiveness might not work at initial stage. As discussed earlier, we keep in changing our styles of communication and adapt one style as dominant style. This means, you can keep assertiveness as your dominant style and you should be intelligent enough to understand when to use other styles of communications as well. And this intelligence can be built by being aware of your communication.
Practicing assertiveness can help you having clarity on your needs and wants without supressing the same of others and it can boost your self esteem, help you garner clear relationships and can live boundlessly. And, it transforms you both – professionally and personally.