People who are assertive are less likely to resort to anger in the workplace. Assertiveness is an essential workplace skill. It is getting your thoughts across in a straightforward manner without harming others in a win/win fashion. “In most situations we have the choice to be passive, assertive, or aggressive,” explains Monique Harrisberg, CEO and founder of South Africa’s leading communication training company, The Voice Clinic. “Being assertive is often the best choice. It is a middle ground between being bully and a doormat,” says Harrisberg.
Being passive can lead to stress and anxiety issues, allowing frustration to build as the person’s needs don’t get met. Conflict is avoided but problems build.
“Depression from anger turned inward, a sense of being helpless and hopeless, with no control over your life is a major symptom of people who are passive rather than assertive,”Harrisberg explains. Non – assertive people also tend to battle with feelings of resentment and anger at others as they feel manipulated or taken advantage of. Frustration is often the result; passive people can turn inward to become frustrated and self-doubting with the person asking themselves: “How could I be such a wimp?” or “Why did I let someone take advantage of me?”
“People who battle with assertiveness often experience poor relationships because they are often unable to express emotions of any kind, negative or positive,”she explains.
The sense of anxiety and hopelessness brought on by passive behaviour often leads to avoidance. If you begin to avoid situations or people that you know will make you uncomfortable, you may miss out on fun activities, job opportunities, relationships, and lots of other good stuff.
“Tempers can flare and in extreme cases, violent behaviour is the result of feeling frustrated and helpless. If you can’t express anger appropriately, it builds up until it blows, so I am giving some useful tips on how to express yourself in an assertive manner to ensure a win/win situation,” says Harrisberg.
Here are some tips on Preface remarks:
§ “Do you have a minute for us to discuss something?”
§ Express your wants, ideas or feelings directly, the goal is communication.
§ Express yourself in the first person, using the word “I” rather than “you”.
§ Be tactful, express emotion verbally, not just non- verbally.
§ Respect the other person, but clearly state your case.
§ Accept responsibility for your emotions rather than blaming others.
§ Give the other person a chance to respond.
§ Leave the door open for the future communication.
§ Deal with situations as they arise unless you need to cool down before discussing things.