Leadership and Assertiveness are like bread and butter that compliment each other and sometimes become essential for one another. To be a great leader one has to be assertive in his/her thoughts and action. Being assertive enables a person to be clear in his/her thoughts and put it infront of others with confidence and authority. Assertive people get their points across everybody without upsetting other or upsetting themselves. A good leader knows who they are and what leading with integrity means to them. They not only respects their opinion but also respects others opinion and thoughts and try to make adjustments accordingly. For being a good leader it is important that people follow you out of respect and trust not just because you have a higher authority. Assertive leadership creates a democratic environment in the organisation where each individual carries own opinion and ideas and can put forward which is appreciated by the team. This increases the engagement and morale of the employees as they are being valued. An assertive person values differences in opinion in the work culture because they themselves carry strong opinions.
There is a thin line between being assertive and aggressive. In many organisations, leaders are obnoxious towards their team members and do not value what others have to say. They are ignorant towards the opinions of other people and force their ideas onto them. The leader becomes loud, rude, and violent maybe physically or mentally and disrespects the emotions of other people. This is what aggressiveness is where you hurt people. Assertiveness is completely opposite from it where you express your honest feelings and ideas infront of others and what you need. This does not include the factor of ‘who wins the argument’ through humiliation and abuses but focuses on coming to a possible solution while negotiating with other members responsible. An assertive leader wants a win-win solution, where they do not avoid other’s people views or just take it without considering their needs; they negotiate and then comes to a solution. This creates an honest relationship with the team members where they support you in your decision out of their choice and not because of any pressure and also enables other people to have confidence to put their wants and needs.
There are also instances, where people gets confuse between aggressiveness and passiveness in leadership. Keeping the team happy does not make you an assertive leader. When you hold down your honest feelings and does not put your thoughts in fear of being judged or gets disliked by everyone then you are being passive. Such people cannot become a leader because you are allowing others to take decision on your behalf and lead the team. If you are seeing an employee not performing well or is disturbing the environment of the organisation then you as a leader has the full authority to take that weed out and be bold in your decision. This is what assertive leader does. You are not leading a team to keep everyone happy, giving respect and keeping happy are two different things. Passive behaviour will not help you to move forward, it holds back your promotion because of the incapability of taking decisions. You cannot make people work for you at the right time or with strict deadlines due to lack of credibility.
For a good leader, being only assertive does not work you have got to have good judgement power as well. An assertive leader will stand for themselves and for his group and will gain respect for him and his people. They create an authentic relationship because of their honest and firm personality. An expression of true feelings helps you to convince more people and tells you where you stand and whether it needs any modification or not. A leader should always be open to change which will enable them to be free in their thoughts and their ideas will be relatable with the changing time. Always be prepared to take bold decision because there will be instances where you will have to take unwanted decision for the betterment of the organisation. Assertiveness never lets you step down from your views under someone else’s pressure which is the foremost quality that a leader should have. Be honest to yourself and to your team and learn to say ‘NO’ if you are unable to take up any responsibility.