Being assertive will earn you respect, but only few know how and when to become assertive. High level executives and managers are generally very assertive. However, if they use their positions of power and authority in order to belittle, intimidate, and control those beneath them, it will cause a lot of trouble and loss of respect over the long term.
Employees will begin to resent such executives and managers. Their productivity will eventually begin to fall, and if the dictatorial behavior of the executives and managers continues, it will not be long before the organization begins experiencing a high employee turnover.
To avoid this problem, it is important to understand the difference between being assertive and being an autocrat. While some managers avoid dictatorial behavior in favor of being passive, this too is just as bad.
The problem with passive managers is that employees often do not know what is expected of them, and they will often take the manager for granted. Employees may violate company policy while working in their department, and they will do this largely because they feel the passive manager will let them get away with it.
A manager or executive who is assertive is an individual who maintains a balance between these two extremes. If you are passive or dictatorial, your behavior will have a negative impact on your career sooner or later.
A manager who is assertive is an individual who can lead their employees, and they can do it without having to use a firm hand, or raise their voice. Some managers do not understand the difference between assertiveness and aggression, so they choose to be passive. But there is a critical difference between the two.
Passiveness, Aggressiveness, and Assertiveness
An aggressive manager tends to be an individual who is quick to anger. They will usually bang their fists on the desk when an employee does something wrong, and they have no problem raising their voice or yelling at their subordinates.
The aggressive manager will generally treat his employees like children. The problem with this form of behavior is that employees are not children, they are adults, and when you treat adults like children, they tend to harbor a great deal of resentment.
The aggressive manager is also quick to criticize the work of his employees. If he sees something wrong with the work of his subordinate, he will be quick to point out all the negative aspects of it, as opposed to the positive aspects.
In contrast, a passive manager is someone who is easy to walk over. Because he does not take things seriously, the employees will not take things seriously, and they will often do what they want despite the company’s rules and regulations.
The primary reason for this is because the passive manager does not bother to enforce the rules. A passive manager will typically avoid doing anything with his employees that might cause conflict, as they do not want to disrupt the workings of their department.
The ironic thing about this view is that those who try to avoid conflict the most are the individuals who are most likely to run into it. While the assertive manager is not aggressive, they make everyone understand that their rules must be followed.
The Assertive manager
When it is time for disciplinary action against an employee, the assertive manager has no problem with it. While they are not rude to the employee when reprimanding them, they are not nice either. They make it clear to the employee why they are in trouble.
Becoming assertive is an art, and it can be difficult for both those who are highly aggressive, and those who are very passive. It requires one to find a balance between these two extremes. Being assertive is a critical skill that you must master, as it will mean the difference between a long and rewarding career, and a short and ineffective one. The one word that can best describe being assertive is find a balance passiveness and aggressiveness.