Assertiveness. In many companies and in the business world, it’s thought of as the hallmark of great leadership. Assertiveness means driving, pushing and aggressively pursuing goals. It’s go-get-‘em all the time.
Unfortunately, this isn’t really the case. Assertiveness, like every other behavioral tendency falls on a spectrum. And not every leader or manager needs to exhibit that kind of Assertiveness. Nor should they.
Leadership is certainly about getting things done, but not at the expense of all else. After all, great managers are those who are able to lead and empower those who work with and below them.
This article from Forbes on must-have qualities for the modern manager lists abandoning the notion of leading from out-front (a more typical driving Assertive managerial style) as well as embracing vulnerability as two key qualities.
Notice that it didn’t say “be a pushover” or “abandon your ideas for others” – that’s because that’s not what the other end of the Assertiveness spectrum is about. Those who naturally lead from a more cohesive, congenial place on the Assertiveness scale get things done by being slightly more vulnerable and by leading from behind—hearing employees and driving forward with them.
This also doesn’t mean that driving, more aggressive Assertiveness is a bad thing. Quite the contrary…many times, managers are forced to make tough calls and to push forward quickly and decisively.
More of a manager’s time is spent understanding the situation and tapping into various approaches and levels of Assertiveness. Navigating situations and varying your behavior is far more challenging than simply going into driving mode.
Think about where you naturally fall on the Assertiveness spectrum and how that relates into the way you manage.
Check out these sample Emergenetics Profiles to see how Assertiveness can shift from manager to manager.
Interested in learning how the Assertiveness scale plays into communication and how you present ideas? Email us.