One of the greatest lessons I learned in my professional career is the importance of knowing how to assert myself without being aggressive. And, isn’t that such a struggle for professional women that are ambitious and driven? We want to represent ourselves, our faith, and our values well, but we also want to accomplish our goals.
However, until you master assertion without aggression, it’s like you’re trying to walk on a tightrope with stilettos; you tip very carefully, and eventually, you either stand still for fear of making a mistake or you charge full speed ahead with reckless abandonment and end up falling. I’ve done the latter, like a bull in a china shop, I learned the hard way of just how off-putting aggression can be.
Growing up as the youngest, and only girl in my family, came with a real set of challenges. My mother and all of her sisters that wanted to have a girl, did the most when it came to frilly dresses? all things pink and feminine. But my peers were 8 mischievous boys. And the attitude and approach I learned to interact with them were a take no prisoners form of aggression.
But regardless of how aggression became your new normal; whether you are overly aggressive and it’s immediately obvious, or passive-aggressive where you just keep it on the down-low, it’s actually sabotaging your success. And, I am convinced that the real reason women bring their aggression to the table is that they believe they have to fight so hard for their seats.
But imagine if there was a better way to arrive at your desired outcome without pushing and shoving your way through. To have a winning attitude and mindset that doesn’t come at the expense of offending others or worse, still ruining relationships.
Here Are My 3 Success Strategies To Shift From Aggressive To Assertive:
1. Communicate with clarity, consistency, and diplomacy.
Be willing to understand someone else’s point of view. Don’t place blame; look for solutions. And most importantly, be willing to hear; not just listen with an open mind recognizing that everyone is different and you don’t have to prove your point in order to achieve your desired outcome. Remember, collaborative communication brings about positive results.
2. Self-Reflect so you can self-correct.
It’s amazing how much you can identify behaviors or perhaps things you could have done or said differently. And this doesn’t mean to overthink or second-guess yourself, it’s just to take an honest look at your attitude and approach through the lens of improvement, not to beat yourself up. It empowers you to apologize if necessary without losing anything in the process and actually gaining the trust and respect of those around you.
3. Accept that you can’t control everything.
The need to be in control is one of those nasty habits and traits that none of us like to own, but all of us need to acknowledge. Do we do it in our relationships, in our careers? just about any sphere, we find ourselves? where we want it our way and will either passively manipulate or aggressively take over to have things done to our liking, our satisfaction, and our standards. But there is so much freedom in excusing yourself from the need to control and just accepting the things that are out of your control.
Have you mastered assertion without aggression; need to develop a personal success strategy? Then schedule your FREE consultation here.
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Stacey Speller is more than a life coach, she’s a sought-after strategist for women in leadership.