Article: Assertive or Aggressive: what is your leadership style?

Behavioural Assessments

Assertive or Aggressive: what is your leadership style?

There has always been a tussle - whether to be aggressive or assertive leader. Aggression can lead you to success initially, but to sustain that success it is pertinent that you start being assertive.
Assertive or Aggressive: what is your leadership style?

In our career, we often come across many types of colleagues, bosses and even subordinates – some are easy to handle, some are dominating and a few are so passive that everyone trolls over them.

The ultimate aim of a successful professional is to reach the top of the hierarchy and steer an organization towards success, which means he/she has to have certain leadership qualities. But just possessing those capabilities are not enough, but one should also have a proper channel of expression. Some are aggressive in communicating to their employees, which makes them bossy and domineering. They don’t command respect but employees who work under this kind of leaders are unhappy and resentful towards him/her. 

And it’s here where the assertive leaders sparkle. Assertive leaders are more in command. They gain respect more than the aggressive bosses who want to get the job done. Being assertive gives you the best chance of successfully delivering your message. Communicating too passively or too aggressively will mean your points are often lost in the process of translation as your colleagues or your employees are always in the middle of grasping what you just communicated. People often associate aggressiveness with assertiveness but the two are extremely different. Assertiveness allows you approach situations with a more objective eye. It also helps in boosting self-esteem and confidence, communicate more effectively, and reduces stress.

Out of the four styles of communication, assertive is a core skill – it means you articulate your stand effectively without disturbing the core beliefs of others. On the other hand, aggressive leaders appear as unapproachable and even hostile by their employees. They are the leaders who tend to bully their employees in doing what the former think is right – even if it’s not. The other two styles of communication are Passive Aggressive where no one wins or loses, and the last one is Passive where one agrees to others’ views even if those cause inconvenience to the person. 

Few of us are naturally assertive, but most of us need to learn to be assertive as that’s the win-win situation for everyone. We had discussed about the four tips for communicating assertively.

You can't always get exactly what you want, but you can make your wants and needs known by these simple tricks.

Rework on your style of communication

Ask your close friends, family members whether they think you agree with others too much than they agree with you. Assess if you take more work when you are already under pressure to deliver projects. Understand your style of communication before changing it. It will be easier to comprehend which aspect of your communication style you need to change.

Denounce negative statements

How you turn down a project is an art. If you aggressively say you won’t be able to handle it because you are overloaded with work, it will mean you are shirking responsibilities or you don’t like to take responsibilities. But since your intention is not that, you need to address the issue differently. 

Assertion is also in the body language

We just don’t communicate verbally, but also through our body language. Talking to your boss with your eyes on a wall-clock, or even fiddling with your mobile phone, are not right ways of communication. Neither is standing in akimbo and demanding what you want is what you should receive from the boss. Maintaining a neutral facial expression is as important as what you are saying. 

It is not going to be easy to change your communication style overnight. It takes time and also a lot of training. If you have had issues with speaking your mind out, then it will take a lot of time before you start asserting your views. 

Start here and start now – ‘cause your business will flourish only when you know how to assert yourself.


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Topics: Behavioural Assessments, Leadership

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