Soft Skill/Competency: Assertiveness

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Refer previous eighteen posts (Refer: to read the detailed explanations on competencies “Result Orientation”, “Problem Solving”, “Self Confidence”, “Self Development”, “Action Orientation”, “Creativity”, “Interpersonal Skills”, “Communication Skills”, “Composure or Coolness”, “Decision Making”, “Integrity”, “Team Work and Team Building”, “Developing People”, “Conflict Management”, “Leadership” and “Motivation”, “Listening” and “Conviction”.

Assertiveness (Also refer:

Explanation of the Competency “Assertiveness”

  • Possesses great clarity about the differences between various behavioral styles i.e. aggressive, submissive, passive-aggressive and assertive behaviors.
  • Has full knowledge of his assertiveness rights.
  • Stands up for his own basic human rights without violating the basic rights of others.
  • Has overcome the fears and self-depreciation that keep one from exercising one’s rights.
  • Can initiate, carry on, change and terminate conversations comfortably.
  • Can tactfully, justly and effectively express his preferences, needs, opinions and feelings.
  • Can express and speak up, make requests and ask for favors without hesitation or fear if the situation calls for.
  • Able to show positive emotions (joy, pride, liking some one, attraction, complimenting, accepting compliments with grace etc) as well as negative emotions (complaints, resentment, criticism, disagreement, intimidation, the desire to be left alone, refuse requests etc) with equal ease.
  • Is willing and capable of questioning authority or tradition if it becomes necessary.
  • Does not rebel but takes responsibility. Takes control of the situation to make things better.
  • Maintains his dignity by being properly assertive even if hurts someone else, as long as his motive is assertive, not aggressive.
  • Does not feel it necessary to offer reasons or excuses for justifying his assertive behavior.
  • Believes that he has a right to change his mind when required.
  • Keeps free of approval addiction (approval of others) and self-pity. Willing to accept even the negative outcomes of his decisions and actions.
  • Seriously believes that you have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty. You also have the right to say “yes”.
  • Does not consider himself stupid to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” and seek clarifications in case of doubts.
  • Answers honestly when he is asked if he likes something when he doesn’t.

Pitfalls to be Avoided

  • Runs the risk of being seen as arrogant by some people.
  • People in authority and even others may feel offended occasionally.
  • Runs the risk of being unpopular if he has to assert quite often.
  • May take stands even on trivia where it may not be appropriate to be assertive.

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About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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One Response to Soft Skill/Competency: Assertiveness

  1. Antonia says:

    Fine blog post, I seriously count on fresh news from you.

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