How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
My Agenda, Your Agenda
Conversation it is not always about what you want, as you may be also talking about what others want. How does assertiveness work in these situations? Here's how.
When working on your agenda, you are using a push principle, in that you are putting my ideas forward, expecting them to be discussed sensibly and that you will get much of what you want.
If you push hard, without consideration of others and how they feel, you can end up being aggressive. If you push with consideration, then you can use assertiveness to get what you want without hurting the relationship.
If you submit to the desires of others, whether it is in fear of harm or to preserve the relationship, then the overall result for you is negative. Assertiveness seems to be about what you want. But you can still work on what others want without being passive or submissive.
You can create good results while working on the needs of others. Being responsive means taking a positive view of what they think. It means knowing they have rights and believing they are not bad and selfish people.
This can be brought together into a single matrix, as follows:
When working on my agenda, an aggressive approach may get me what I want, but it harms the other person and the relationship, with an effectively negative overall outcome. If I am assertive, then the overall outcome is positive.
When working on the other person's agenda, a passive approach leads to an overall negative outcome, especially for me. I can create a better outcome, however, by being responsive to the other person.