Are you assertive or aggressive? Does it matter? Well, it can mean the difference between keeping your job or losing it. So, yes, it matters.
Last week, I went to the Macon train depot to renew my driver's license. I had all the documents I needed except my birth certificate. Now the women who waited on me had to insist on that certificate, but they had two choices. Aggressive women would have made me feel stupid and then angry. These women made me feel welcome and then cheerful. How did they do that?
While one of them organized my materials, another one researched the phone number and email address of the Department of Public Health in Springfield, Illinois where I can get my birth certificate, and she gave me all this information before I left. That's assertiveness with a smile.
All of us have to insist on certain regulations; think of police officers and teachers; yes and parents and managers, too. And all of us have been tempted to be aggressive; it saves us all sorts of time and covers up our own feelings of inadequacy. It also allows us to be arrogant and get away with it.
But real leaders -like these women at DDS -know that assertiveness gets the job done a whole lot better. Today, you can be a leader too, if you want to.