In the class I cover assertiveness in, I will sometimes play a game to test each members ability to not be passive. We have three ways of communicating when there is something we want: Passive, Assertive, and Aggressive.
The passive person relies on being nice and will often not directly state their needs. Instead, they rely on indirect communication and implied meanings to get what they want. They ask more than they tell. And, they often hope the other person will figure out what they need without them ever having to directly state it.
The things that you do every day to make yourself happy or bring yourself joy are part of the ways you care for yourself. They also keep your stress levels lower so that when events hit or your emotional triggers are pushed, you can deal with things in a more manageable way.
Even a morning cup of tea or coffee with some quiet time can be an important daily ritual that keeps your stress levels reduced. We often create these daily routines for ourselves without realizing why we have added them into our schedules or why they are so important to us. It's when we miss or skip them that we can really feel the effects of having our routine disrupted.
He smiled and said all the right things but he knew internally that it was going to be a long day. Each customer brought a new complaint and somehow knew just what to say to push his buttons. I mean where did some of these people’s opinions come from? And, worse, why did they think he must surely agree with them? And, what kind of vibe was he giving off to attract so many simply crazy people? But he smiled, rang them up, and sent them on their way – always smiling and always asking polite questions. You must always be nice after all. And, he really didn’t have a choice – his boss required it.
He looked at me with that stare that said he was clearly questioning whether or not I could do the task he had just asked me to do. He paused and then said, “So, walk me through how you plan on doing this one.” I walked him through it, he added a few things, and I was off to the races to get things done. This interaction could have gone the way of micromanagement very easily but it didn’t. With adults, and I would argue even with children, we have to respect people’s prior knowledge. Assuming people already know upfront what they need to do and how to do it is the most respectful way to go. We can certainly ask to be sure but asking first wins us the respect that simply telling does not.
Summer is rapidly approaching and many of us remember back to our summer reading lists. Why not embrace that idea again as an adult? Check out some newer titles and some of the more established staples in the mindfulness and emotional intelligence world to keep your knowledge and abilities growing during the summer months.
“You should know before you begin some of the issues that have been problems for me in the past,” the project manager began. She then began going through specific examples of what she called her past pet peeves in project management: a worker who created lots of issues by speaking directly to the client about his project concerns, another worker who she saw socializing constantly in the office but who kept telling her she didn’t have time to get stuff done, a worker who didn't inform her that his direct supervisor kept pulling him for other projects. After each example, she then expressed what she would rather have seen communicated and done instead of what actually happened.
A mentor-mentee relationship should be one where both parties personally select the other. In an age where companies are creating formal mentorship programs and assigning people to each other, we should be extra wary. Not all people who want to be mentors actually should be mentors and, if you are an aspiring mentee you should be aware of how to evaluate that the relationship with your mentor is a healthy or even beneficial one.
I think most of grace when I encounter people on the street asking for spare change. If I have change jangling around in my pocket -- or if I’m feeling generous, an extra dollar -- I will just give it to them. Every so often, I hear random people angrily yell at the person begging: “Get a job!” or “I work hard for my money!” And I witness people get really irate about being asked for something from someone they don’t feel deserves it or they fear might squander what is given to them.
Presentation skills or the ability to get up in front of an audience and sell your ideas is a critical piece to educational leadership training. The ability to use anecdotes and stories as major "pins" during longer speeches is a fundamental skill. And, it's one that untrained presenters often miss. Your audience or class is able to retain the information you present much longer when it's encapsulated by a meaningful story.
Teaching this skill can be a larger task -- particularly when you need to give students individual attention to hone their skills and provide feedback.
“He told me not to worry about it,” began the conversation with a recently let go friend. “I just don’t understand what happened. He said it wasn’t a big deal.” The more my friend talked, the more I winced. It was clear what had happened. His boss had actually been honest when giving the corrective feedback conversation. The problem was the supervisor immediately minimized the conversation they had just undergone. What he had done was indeed a “big deal” and he should have worried about it enough to make sure it never happened again.
My Writing and Other Resources for Students
A growing collection of writing and other resources for students to use to continue their growth.