Rational thinkers will be Assertive communicators

Assertive communication is becoming very important in today’s world. We need to recognize how we respond to any situation, analyse if that is how we want to respond. Is our response in line with the goals we have for our future. When I think back after 10 years, would I feel proud of my today’s response?

There are three types of communication

1. Passive

2. Aggressive

3. Assertive

There is a fourth – “Passive Aggressive”

An example:

The boss requests an employee to do some extra work over the weekend. The employee has already planned a family trip on the weekend. How does the employee  communicate his concern to the boss.

1. Passive – “Yes, Sir. Sure Sir. No problem.”

                     Accepts whatever is told. The problems he might face at home he thinks he will deal with later.

2. Aggressive – “No. I have other plans. I just cannot work on the weekend”

                      There is no room for discussion left. Employee is angry. Boss is angry.

3. Assertive – “If it is urgent, I would definitely do it. I have a family trip planned for the weekend. If it can wait till monday, I shall do that first thing on monday.”

                      There is room for discussion. The boss might as well accept for his request. Or might consider an other person to do the work.

4. Passive-Aggressive – “Yes Sir, No problem”.

                      Employee then goes to the rest room or to the tea point and starts talking negative or shouting or crying or complain continuously with colleagues, based on the type of person he is.

So, we can see that if I think rationally, I talk assertively. Because, I understand the following:

1. The boss is also human.

2. I am human. And the boss knows that I have my personal obligations.

3. If I accept the work, and not able to do it. It would be a problem for the organization.

4. If I refuse the work, It might be damaging to the organization if it is really urgent.

5. Instead of assuming the work is urgent.  I can confirm with the boss if it is urgent and take the next step.

6. Moreover, my boss is my boss. So he might very well come up with an alternative if he knows that I have genuine reason.

We all are leaders irrespective of our job role. And an Effective Leader is Assertive.

Wikipedia definition for Assertiveness is   ” a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person’s rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one’s rights or point of view.”

It takes time to develop assertive behavior. Let us start it today.

Is scientific proof required to be happy?

Today I saw an interest group which talks about how to be happy at work, and benefits of being happy at work etc.

I am shocked and amazed at how happiness has become a distant thing. And how it is one more thing we need to be working towards.

Is happiness not something that is present in us? Of course, it is upto us to choose to be happy in the present moment. But, normally we choose to be not happy now. Because we want to link our happiness to something we want to achieve. This way, we think we will work more diligently towards our goal. What we forget is by choosing to be happy now, we become more focused, more productive. Thereby reaching our goal sooner. Isn’t that exciting?

Why dont we choose to be happy now(despite any goals that are outstanding) ? If there are so many benefits to being happy…

We are all on Probation all the time

When someone says ‘I am on probation for 6 months in my new company’, my mind goes ‘what are you saying? we are all on probation all the  time in all the places’.

I did not think this way for a long time, I believed in permanent jobs. Be it good or bad, I realize now that we are all on probation all the time. Does completing probation period in an organization guarantee me a life-long job? No, absolutely not. Atleast not in this age of fast, ever changing, volatile world, where even the temperature of earth is going up fast.

Not long ago, this would have been bad news for me. Because I wanted Job security more than anything.

Now? It seems like a good news. Atleast my personal growth is guaranteed due to this probation phenomena. I am constantly challenged to look out for areas where I have to improve, where I can improve and how fast I can adapt to the new demands of the industry.

What can I do to make sure I am continually happy even in this scenario?

  1. Accept the fact that change is constant. And I need to continually evolve to adapt to these changes.
  2. Set aside some ‘me time’ everyday to analyze the direction in which my life is heading
  3. Identify any improvements or learnings that I would need, to move in the direction I want to
  4. Schedule improvement time everyday- Time to learn something new – something which would keep me competitive
  5. Not to missout on the time spent with family. It is the easiest and best way of rejuvenating myself on an everyday basis.
  6. Believe in myself and my abilities. But not to stop there. Take action to reach out to what I want.

 

WorkPlace challenges – 4 simple ways to success

There are hundreds of challenges at workplace. Each one of them unique based on the situation, person, or management. Few examples are:

New employee acclimatization

Acclimatization to a newer, challenging role

Waiting for that most sought after promotion

Workplace politics

Coping with the change in management

Wanting a salary hike

The micro-managing boss

or The Never available boss

The irritating colleague who seems to have no responsibility

The colleague who does not share information

Or the one who thinks he is superior based on the previous accomplishments, but has no intention of performing now

The list can go on and on… These issues pose different challenges to employees in different roles or levels in the organisation. However, I think there are 4 simple steps which can resolve these issues to a great extent:

1. Be clear on what you want.

                  – Having a list of goals based on the life that we really want. And breaking them down to everyday tasks is very helpful.

2. Get clarity on what is bothering you.

                 – Often times, we are frustrated simply because of confusion. We need to analyse the situation and understand what is really bothering us. Generally, it is more than one reason that is bothering us. Once we know the exact reason, we can have a strategy to resolve each of this issue.

3. Focus on performing at your best each day without fail.

                  – As discussed above, everyday tasks will help in focusing on the important tasks. And keeps you from falling into the Urgent tasks quadrant all the time. Get the required motivation to do your job. Your Lead or the Manager are the best people to talk to. If you have not so healthy relationship with them, its time you build it. After all, what they want is you performing at peak everyday. Time management is also an area to look into and improve as required.

4. Be committed to the Organisations’ goals.

If you need help in any of these areas, feel free to seek help. There are people out there who would love to help you.

Please leave a comment and feel free to share your ideas.

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