Stand Up for Yourself

A popular and widespread myth is, whether it is city traffic or the corporate world, you need to be aggressive if you want to get ahead. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, aggressive people at best get to their destination stressed out and at worst, have an accident en-route. Equally, ineffective is being submissive and compliant, ever willing to meekly accept what others propose or do.

How then. does one get ahead?

The only sustainable way to get ahead and stay ahead is to be assertive. The website refers to assertiveness as a social and communication skill that allows you to stand up for your own or other people’s rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passively accepting ‘wrong’. It is a way of finding the balance on three different dimensions; between aggression and submission, own point of view and that of others, and thoughts and feelings. A complex and delicate skill, much like tight rope walking!
Prof. Martin Selligman, the positive psychology guru, tells us that assertiveness is a “learnable” skill. In his recent book Flourish, he provides the following IDEAL guideline for being assertive.

• Identify and Work to understand situation.
• Describe the situation objectively and accurately.
• Express Concerns.
• Ask the other person for his / her perspective and work toward an acceptable change.
• List the benefits that follow when the change is implemented.

Assertiveness is a worthy skill to have. And like all worthy skills, it too would need sustained and conscious practice, till it becomes a habit.

Go ahead and make ASSERTIVENESS your habit!

– by Ravi Santhanam for ZEUS



More from Ravi Santhanam

Leave a comment