How To Avoid Confrontation and Utilize The Assertive Thinker

Boxing ExecutivesA propensity to take control often causes assertive thinkers to shoot for positions of leadership. They are well-suited for leadership roles. As a leader yourself, you may have an assertive thinker as a subordinate, however, and this may cause unique difficulties.

The assertive thinker may go against a defined process out of dislike for it or simply to try something new. This thinker also tends to get the team riled up – whether from sincere concern or out of boredom.

You may have an assertive thinker on your team who gets everyone excited about an idea and then disappears to carry it through on his or her own. In worst cases, the assertive thinker may try to fill your role, causing a shift in the team’s loyalty.

While the potential faults of the assertive thinker may seem overwhelming, this maverick has strengths that undeniably benefit your team.

Their spark can lead to change, improved morale, and increased creativity. They can add excitement to the mundane and provide a needed fresh perspective. Their tendency to challenge the norm is irreplaceable. When you need a solution that pushes the envelope, the assertive thinker is just the person you want on your team.

How To Avoid Confrontation

To avoid the conflicts that arise from this independent spirit, you will want to take the time to go over the rules with them up front. The assertive thinker is the team member who casts aside the Policy & Procedures manual or the how-to instructions. She assumes “rules are made to be broken.”

Clarify to the assertive thinker that the rules are there for a reason and that they need to be followed. Furthermore, try to giver them the freedom of thought they require. A balance of trust and accountability is the winning solution for the assertive thinker. If you cannot afford a possible failure, make sure you clarify this with the assertive thinker. They will always take risks if they can.

By stating your expectations up front, you can avoid confrontation with this thinker. Hopefully this statement of expectations gives them just what they need to create their best work.

When To Utilize the Assertive Thinker:

When taking risks – pushing the envelope

When challenging the process

When wanting to hear what the team’s afraid to admit

When needing to create a sense of urgency


© Jennifer Whitt, Inc 2011. All rights reserved worldwide.

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