Leaders and Entrepreneurs must be good storytellers. They have to be so that they can realize the dreams and goals they have for their business, product or service. I met a local Entrepreneur. A young one at that. At least to me, he was young as he had not yet reached his 20th Birthday. He was sent to me for advice regarding his new business venture. As I sat in the local Coffee Shop, I watched him, and his product walk toward me. He was excited, and you could tell that by looking at him.
As a business owner and also as someone who helps businesses grow, I often see very questionable actions taken on the part of business owners or presented to them. Sometimes they are rather innocuous or expensive. Sometimes a play on words without substance attracts a business owner and like a fish drawn to a lure, they strike. Thousands of dollars in worthless marketing goes out the window. I say out the window because those spending the money cannot describe or identify the slightest accurate return on those dollars. I cannot call that Return on Investment because as it turns out…it wasn’t an investment. This is very true for those who buy into the hype surrounding lead generation and the promises of many many leads for the business. In these instances, the business owner just fell for the “Lead Generation Trap”
Let’s be honest; most human beings dislike conflict. They avoid it because it makes them feel uncomfortable AND they believe it is either an affront to their authority or a sign of disharmony.
To paraphrase Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street), “Conflict is Good.”
Assertive communication is how we express ourselves to others in a firm yet positive way. It is different from aggressive communication. Aggressive communication is often viewed as harmful. Aggressive communication is sometimes viewed as a way of establishing individual superiority by putting others down. Some characteristics of aggressive communication are sarcasm, harsh tones (regardless of intent and condescending statements directed toward others. When individuals are feeling stressed nor overwhelmed they tend to communicate in an aggressive manner. Assertive communication, on the other hand, is a more respectful form of communication that considers our own needs while being respectful of the needs and feelings of others.
What can you do to be more assertive and less aggressive in communicating?