Abrasive or Assertive: What’s the Difference?

Assertiveness is not universally understood to be a positive trait (especially when we are talking about women in leadership). So, we wanted to take the time to look at the difference between being assertive and being pushy or annoying.

People often get branded as abrasive or bossy when they stand up for themselves or ask for what they want.

Assertiveness is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive.

When used in the right way, assertiveness can be the key to working in or managing a high performing and effective team. And here’s why…

Being shy is not a permanent condition

A myth that we often hear is; you are born either shy or assertive. Assertiveness can be learned.

So, what’s a shy person to do in a world where leaders are expected to be assertive and ask for what they want? Don’t do anything drastic. There are ways of being assertive, and gaining a win-win outcome for everyone, without having to shout the loudest. Every personality type can achieve professional and personal success with the right skills.

Know when to challenge yourself so that shyness doesn’t hold you back.

Assertiveness is a skill that can be developed and refined. By learning core practical skills including using your body language and improving your communication techniques you can get your point across with ease.

Read the situation

Before you make changes to your behaviour, know the context you are working in or dealing with at the time. Does the culture value forcefulness? Or do you work in a situation where a persuasive, quieter approach is more appropriate?

Understand the context, assess your behaviour, and then make appropriate adjustments.

Are you assertive at work?

It’s vital to use assertiveness to navigate challenging situations with ease and professionalism, no matter the politics and difficult personalities involved.

Learn to be assertive

Effective assertiveness can help you influence your peers and external stakeholders in an insistent and self-assured way.

The ability to make a lasting impression on staff, colleagues and key stakeholders is an invaluable asset in a public sector environment.

Our one-day, highly interactive virtual training course; Confident Communication and Assertiveness, will teach delegates the core practical skills to communicate, use body language and get your point across in a more confident way.

Enhance your levels of assertiveness to help you become a more decisive and influential manager.

Get involved in the conversation!

We’d love to hear from you. You can tweet us using #UMGTraining @UModernGov.

If you would like to discuss any of the details you have read in this blog; including our ‘Confident Communication and Assertiveness’ course, please contact us on 0800 542 9440 or email enquiries@moderngov.com.

We can also run this course for you In-House, at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you. Bringing your team together for a group training event is a great team building exercise, and we work closely with you to develop a bespoke training agenda that is completely tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

Contact our In-House training team on inhouse@moderngov.com or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.