Listen Up! How to Be Appropriately Assertive

19 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by James G. Clawson

James G. Clawson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Maria pazFigini

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

How do you deal with overly aggressive or excessively passive people? When should you push and when should you hang back? Should you ever show your anger, or is it wise to keep it inside or express it differently? The answers to these questions can mean the difference between derailing your career in management and going all the way to the top. If you learn what appropriately assertive behavior is and then practice ways of expressing yourself (when the occasion calls for it), your level of assertiveness will match the situation. This technical note examines interactions that fall on a continuum of assertiveness, from abusive to overly passive.

Excerpt

UVA-OB-0799

LISTEN UP! HOW TO BE APPROPRIATELY ASSERTIVE

A senior physician enters a meeting room and is greeted with this statement from his departmental chair: “When I got your f*@#ing e-mail, I wanted to bash your head in!”

A telemarketer calls your house and asks how you are. After you say, “Fine,” he says he's not selling anything but he wants to find out if their account information is correct. Then he tells you about a special introductory offer that they have and that he's going to send you a package for your review with a 30-day no-charge gift offer and that he wants to confirm your address.

An overbearing boss repeatedly tells associates, “I am superior to you.” And discontinues conversations in mid-sentence by closing the door, hanging up the phone, or walking away. He tells a direct report to “Stand on this spot until I tell you to move!”

A team member repeatedly sends signals of disgust at her teammates' performance or comments and occasionally just gets up and walks out of the meetings. When confronted, she says, I'm tired of carrying all of you. You need to do your own homework on this project or else I'm leaving.”

. . .

Keywords: individual behavior intergroup, relations, interpersonal intra-personal, intrapersonal, conflict, management, gender, communication, strategy, women in business

Suggested Citation

Clawson, James G. and Yemen, Gerry and pazFigini, Maria, Listen Up! How to Be Appropriately Assertive. Darden Case No. UVA-OB-0799. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=911119

James G. Clawson (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/clawson.htm

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Maria PazFigini

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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