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You Are So Aggressive!
The Weekly Walkaway highlights negotiation in its ‘good’, ‘bad’ and sometimes ‘downright ugly’ forms. Newsletter Issue No. 37 (17th June 2023)
What to expect?
Quote of the Week - ““To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself.”
Thought of the Week - You Are So Aggressive!
Checklist of The Week - Some Simple Tips to Becoming More Assertive
Remember: You are a negotiator!
You are always managing some form of conflict, a difference of opinion or interest.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself.”
Edith Eva Eger
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
You Are So Aggressive!
Recognising you are aggressive in a negotiation is crucial. Here are some signs:
Tone of voice: You are using that loud or harsh tone, speaking in a confrontational manner;
Interrupting and arguing: You are constantly interrupting them. You lack respect for them. You’re looking for a fight, an argument;
Personal attacks: You are insulting them, calling them names or even using derogatory remarks. You’re looking to humiliate them;
Overwhelming dominance: You consistently overpower the conversation and dominate the discussion;
Threats and ultimatums: You are using threats, ultimatums and / or are using coercive tactics;
Body language: You might be a fist clencher, a dominant invader of space; you get in their face and/or display intense facial expressions;
Lack of empathy or understanding: You just don’t care. You not considering their perspective. You don't care for their feelings and needs.
It's important to note that aggression, arrogance and assertiveness in negotiation can be subjective and context-dependent. But the above list is a good universal guide to being more conscious of your behaviour.
In Negotiation, Arrogance And Aggression Are Different But Related Behaviours.
Arrogance refers to an attitude of superiority or an inflated sense of self-importance. In negotiations, if you were arrogant you’d exhibit the following behaviours:
Overconfidence: You’d have a high opinion of yourself and your abilities;
Dismissive: You’d disregard or belittle their ideas, concerns, or proposals. You’d consider them inferior or unworthy of consideration;
Focus on your own agenda: You’d focus primarily on your own objectives and needs;
Sense of entitlement: You behave in a way that shows you are entitled to certain outcomes or concessions.
You can see why arrogance can be misunderstood as aggression, but it is possible to be arrogant without being aggressive.
In Negotiation, In Certain Circumstances, It Might Be Appropriate To Be Arrogant.
Arrogance is more centred around a mindset of superiority and dismissiveness, whereas aggression involves confrontational and /or argumentative behaviour.
Remember: It is appropriate to show confidence in your own position.
It is appropriate to act dismissively of their needs and their proposals, especially if it’s in your interests, or you have short-term goals and if you find you are in a win-lose negotiation.
Assertiveness And Aggression Are Often Misunderstood.
Like Arrogance, Assertiveness and Aggression are two very different things. Two very different communication styles that can have very different outcomes.
Assertiveness is a communication style that allows individuals to express their needs and wants in a clear, direct, and respectful manner.
Aggression, as you have read, involves disrespecting them and using force or tactics of intimidation to get what you want.
Assertive = attack the issue
Aggressive = attack the individual
Assertive Negotiators Stand Up For Themselves, Their Rights And Express Their Opinions Confidently, While Also Being Mindful Of The Rights And Opinions Of Others.
Assertive individuals express their needs and want’s in a confident and non-threatening manner, using "I" statements to convey their feelings and concerns.
They listen respectfully to others, seeking to understand their perspective and find common ground.
Aggressive Negotiators Attack Others Verbally Or Physically And Disregard The Needs And Opinions Of Others While Trying To Dominate The Situation
Aggressive individuals often use "you" statements, blaming and accusing others for their problems, and may resort to yelling, threatening, or even physical violence to get their way.
They also tend to be defensive and closed-minded, unwilling to listen to others or consider alternative perspectives.
One Of The Key Differences Between Assertiveness, Arrogance And Aggression Is The Impact They Have On Relationships.
Assertiveness helps to build trust, respect, and understanding between individuals, while aggression and arrogance damage and/or destroy relationships.
Assertive negotiators foster open and honest communication. Because of this, they encourage collaboration and joint problem-solving and build mutual understanding and respect.
Arrogant and Aggressive negotiators breed mistrust and resentment and can lead to conflict and breakdowns in communication.
Long-Term Vs Short Term
Simple! Assertive negotiators are just more effective than aggressive negotiators in achieving long-term goals.
Arrogance and Aggression, on the other hand, can only ever expect to achieve short-term goals alongside the negative consequences that come with that.
Differences In The Emotional States Associated With Assertiveness, Arrogance And Aggression.
Arrogant (remember, in negotiation, it could be an appropriate choice) or Assertive negotiators tend to be or feel confident, in control, and empowered as they express themselves in a clear manner.
They are able to manage their emotions effectively and avoid becoming defensive or reactive. Arrogance is a choice.
Aggressive individuals, on the other hand, tend to feel angry, frustrated, or anxious as they are reacting to perceived threats or challenges. Aggression is an emotional reaction, it is not a choice.
They may become overwhelmed by their emotions and struggle to communicate effectively.
The BIG Question… “Are You Forever Either Assertive Or Aggressive?”
No. They are not fixed personality traits.
The good news is that they are communication and behavioural styles that can be learned, developed and changed over time. Learning to manage your inner chimp is the first stage, controlling your emotions. It take time and practice.
CHECKLIST OF THE WEEK
Your Negotiators Check List for Being More Assertive
Plan. Plan. Plan: Identify your needs and wants. Take time to reflect on your objectives and priorities and prepare what you want to communicate to others and how you need to communicate it;
Use "I" statements: When expressing your needs and wants to others, try to use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. “I require”, “I expect”. For example, instead of saying, "You're always interrupting me," try saying, "I feel frustrated when I'm interrupted."
Control your inner chimp, your emotions: Talk to your inner chimp, “I’ve got this”, “I’ve planned for this”, “I deserve this”, “I’m successful”. This will help keep your emotions in check during negotiations. Remind your chimp that you are strong and assertive. If you're feeling frustrated or angry, take a time out and compose yourself, consider your plan, and then calmy respond. Remember to breath;
Practise active listening: Listen actively and respectfully. When someone is speaking, give them your full attention and avoid interrupting or judging them;
Set boundaries: Set boundaries, and protect your own needs and interests while also respecting the needs and interests of others. Become comfortable saying "no" to requests that don't align with your timings, objectives or values. Remember saying "no" is an important part of assertive negotiation. Negotiation does not start with YES, does it?
Practise assertive body language: Make the Super Man, Wonder Women victory power pose before the meeting, Adopt an open and expansive pose to change your body chemistry, fill your body with a little testosterone. In the meeting stand tall or sit straight, shoulders back, chest out. Make eye contact, use your calm, confident and self-assured voice;
Use phrases that progress: Steer away from using negative words. Try not to give ultimatums like "This is non-negotiable," and consider phrases that progress the negotiation, like “ Thank you for your proposal”, "Let's find a solution that works for both of us."
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